Politics

More interested in skin color than in education, Bobby Jindal rebukes the US Justice Department

Feds again halt Louisiana Gov.’s school voucher program.

By Deepak Chitnis

Bobby Jindal
Gov. Bobby Jindal

WASHINGTON, DC: Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has slammed the Obama Administration over its demands regarding a school voucher program Jindal has been trying to institute in his state for years, saying that the federal government is exercising too much control in trying to oversee the state-level program.

Jindal has been fighting for a voucher program in Louisiana, which he says will allow students living in districts with sub-par public schools a chance to go to a better school. Entitled “The Louisiana Scholarship Program,” the idea was embroiled in controversy almost from the get-go, with opponents saying it violated de-segregation laws and was, therefore, unconstitutional.

In November of 2013, the Justice Department announced that it had ended its lawsuit against the program, effectively saying it was good to go. Jindal voiced his approval of the move, and hoped to get the voucher program moving in a positive direction, with both sides mandated by the court to propose ways in which the voucher legislation can be modified to appease both parties.

Now, however, Jindal has come down hard on the Department of Justice again because they’ve asked to have a 45-day review period to decide if any voucher claims should be turned away. Additionally – and this is what has Jindal really upset – the DoJ is asking for the racial makeup of each school involved with the program.

Jindal says the government is overstepping its boundaries. As a Republican, Jindal favors a small central government, and is therefore less than pleased with what he characterizes as Washington’s attempts to stick their noses where they needn’t be.

“I am also shocked to learn that the Justice Department is now asking for the state to provide an analysis of the racial composition of our states private schools,” said Jindal in a scathing press release put out by his office. “The federal government’s new request is a frightening overreach of the federal government and shows it knows no bounds.”

[They] cannot prove that Louisiana school choice is violating desegregation efforts, yet [continue] to seek the ability to tell a parent their child cannot escape a failing school because their child is not the “right” race. [Their] proposal reeks of federal government intrusion and proves the people in Washington running our federal government are more interested in skin color than they are in education.”

The DoJ has yet to comment on the case. Their filing can be read here, while the state of Louisiana’s can be read here. The latter, which is obviously backed by Jindal, essentially says that the legislation is fine as is and should not be changed, as any changes would simply give the federal government exactly what they want: the ability to disrupt the program whenever they wish.

Jindal has been passionate about this program ever since taking office, and as he potentially gears up for a presidential run in 2016, his hardline stance against big government and the Obama Administration will be seen by others in the Republic Party as a test for how well he can handle a campaign for the GOP’s ticket.

To contact the author, email to deepakchitnis@americanbazaaronline.com

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