State District Judge Tim Kelley ruled Friday that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s expanded voucher program unconstitutionally diverts public money to send some public school students to private and parochial schools.Of course, the decision will be appealed, and who knows what will happen on appeal, but the news for now is good. The voucher system transfers state funds, dedicated by law to public school systems, to private schools, which are not held to the same standards as public schools. However, the decision is not about unequal standards, which is a whole other matter, but about following the Louisiana Constitution.
Kelley said that both Act 2 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 99 unlawfully divert tax dollars for nonpublic educational purposes.
Kelly heard closing arguments Friday morning from attorneys for the state, teacher unions, school boards and school-choice advocates.