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Louisiana Supreme Court to Rule on Voucher Program

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The Louisiana Supreme Court will hear an appeal today regarding the ruling by a state judicial court that Gov. Bobby Jindal's sweeping education reforms, which would expand the state-run voucher program, are unconstitutional.

The case was originally filed by the state's teachers unions and 43 school boards, which asserted that the voucher program improperly allows money from the state's school funding formula to be diverted from public to private and religious schools. In November, Judge Timothy Kelley of the state's 19th judicial circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, declaring the funding formula for the voucher program unconstitutional under Louisiana state law. The decision was immediately appealed by the state to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The court has 30 days to issue a decision on the issue, says The Times-Picayune.

Gov. Jindal's education reforms, known as Act 2, expand a state-run voucher program, give administrators direct control over personnel decisions, and set a higher bar for teacher tenure. They also expand income-eligibility requirements for the voucher program and allow students to take individual courses through a variety of public or private providers.

The National School Boards Association has filed an amicus brief for the case, urging the Louisiana Supreme Court to uphold the decision that the voucher program is unconstitutional.

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