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Education battle hits courtroom

Monday, July 9, 2012 - 7:30pm

BATON ROUGE,LA(NBC33TV) — Supporters of Governor Bobby Jindal made their voices heard both inside and outside of district court on Monday. They filed a petition that tries to block Louisiana teacher's unions attempts to stop the governor's voucher program.

"I believe our fight for quality education is paramount. It is so important for a parent to have an option to be able to send your child to a good school, a safe school," says parent Valerie Cox.

Louisiana's teacher's' union say that choice is unconstitutional. They think it's against the law that money that is supposed to go to fund public schools is helping to pay for private ones. And it's only going to hurt an already struggling educational system.

'We want high quality education for every child. We think that's what's happening is a result of a shoddy piece, legislative piece that we forced through the session. That's not going to happen, so all the children are endangered, unless the courts intervene," says Steve Monaghan, President of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.

The voucher program, backed by governor Jindal was approved during the recently completed legislative session. It allows low-income students from underperforming schools to more easily transfer to the school of their choice. Supporters feel attempts to block it are ways of stopping parents from doing what's best for their kids.

"Unfortunately, you have people who want to deny parents that opportunity. They don't believe parents have the right to choose where their children go to school and those people are not concerned about the education of children," says Kenneth Campbell, President of the Black Alliance for Educational Options.

But teacher's unions say Jindal's voucher program will have nothing but negative effects.

"The expanse of the program as it's set up now will be a constant bleed on the resources. Those limited resources in public schools, which will adversly affect all children ultimately," says Monaghan.


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