Jindal Voucher Scheme Will Subsidize Religious Schools in Louisiana
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in April signed education bills that divert tax dollars to religious and other private schools in the state.
One new law will allow families earning up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level (currently $23,000 for a family of four) and whose children attend a "failing" public school to attend private schools using public dollars.
Catholic schools are expected to be the main beneficiaries of the voucher program. Louisiana has a long tradition of Catholic education, although fundamentalist Protestant academies are popular in some areas.
Jindal signed the bill at Redemptorist Elementary School, a Catholic school in Baton Rouge. New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond was invited to the bill-signing ceremony and stood behind Jindal as the Republican governor added his signature to the measure.
Said Aymond of the new program, "Ultimately, it will break the cycle of poverty."
Opponents are exploring the possibility of a lawsuit. Steve Monaghan, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, said Jindal is using a state fund called the Minimum Foundation Program to pay for the vouchers. …