Obama Admin files suit to stop Louisiana children from having access to high-quality educational options

Baton Rouge, La. (Aug. 24, 2013) – The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice and its state affiliate, the Louisiana Federation for Children, today strongly condemned President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for seeking to limit educational options for the children of Louisiana. A motion filed by the U.S. Dept. of Justice seeks to prevent the state of Louisiana from offering school vouchers to children in school districts with existing desegregation orders for the 2014-15 school year unless the state receives otherwise authorization from the federal court overseeing the desegregation case.

“President Obama’s assault on educational options is unprecedented and directly impacts low-income families who have the right to high-quality educational options,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the American Federation for Children. “We remain committed to fighting for children and ensuring those trapped in failing schools are not left behind.”

A 2013 survey from the Louisiana Federation for Children and Black Alliance for Educational Options showed that nearly 93 percent of parents are happy with their child’s scholarship school. In addition, the Louisiana Scholarship Program has both the strongest and most transparent financial and academic accountability standards among scholarship programs in the nation.

The Louisiana Scholarship Program awarded scholarships to 8,000 students for the 2013-14 school year after receiving nearly 12,000 applications from parents across the state who demand better choices for their children. In just one year, the Louisiana Scholarship Program showed a 60 percent growth, highlighting the popularity of this program that offers scholarships to students trapped in failing schools. To qualify, students must either be enrolled in a school ranked C, D or F or be entering kindergarten for the first time; they must also meet strict income guidelines.

Across the state, 128 schools in 32 parishes are participating in the Louisiana Scholarship Program, which was expanded statewide in 2012. Prior to the expansion, the program served children in New Orleans since its creation in 2008.

Louisiana Federation for Children is a state project of the American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice.

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The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.

Kevin P. Chavous is a noted attorney, author, and national school reform leader. A former member of the Council of the District of Columbia and a former chairman of D.C.’s Education Committee, Chavous was responsible for enacting numerous education reforms in D.C. Chavous also presides as board chair for Democrats for Education Reform and is a former chair of the Black Alliance for Educational Options.