Jindal: Holder Wants to Set Back Civil Rights by Targeting School Vouchers
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said there's "no explanation" for why the Justice Department is trying to block his state's school voucher program.
The DOJ said in papers filed in papers filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans that "many" of the 570 vouchers distributed to Louisiana students last school year "impeded the desegregation process."
This school year, the Justice Department said, vouchers were given to students in 22 of 34 school districts still under desegregation orders.
"We've got 8,000 kids getting these scholarships; 100 percent of these are low income families, 100 percent of them coming from C, D or F public schools. 100 percent of their parents chose this as a way for their kids to get a better education -- 90 percent of them are minorities," Jindal said on Fox last night. "We talk about equal opportunity in America, we are not providing it unless we provide every child the chance to get a great education. It is ridiculous for the Department of Justice to listen to the government unions, to the teacher unions. This is all politics. It's all ideology. It's not about these kids."
The governor called it "backwards" that the government wouldn't believe "every child no matter their zip code, their gender, their race, their parents' wealth should have a chance to get a great education."
"One of the two examples the Department of Justice use is that they've got six black kids, six African-American kids in Saint Martin Parish in a public school that's getting an 'F' letter grade. That means only at half of -- at best half those kids are on grade level. Those six kids got scholarships to go to other schools where their parents thought they would get a better education," he continued. "Eric Holder is saying no we've got to force them back into that failing public school to protect their civil rights. How is that protecting their civil rights?"
Jindal said he's met the moms of these kids, who are working multiple jobs to get by.
"When we started this program the union leader said 'Hey, look, parents don't have a clue when it comes to making choices for their kids.' These moms have told me and with tears in their eyes we make choices for our kids every day. We know their needs better than the bureaucrats in Baton Rouge or Washington, D.C.," he said.
"There is no explanation for why they would do this... Whether it's incompetence or ideology the bottom line is they are going to hurt the kids we should be working so hard to serve and getting a better education."