We’ve written a few times before about Louisiana’s state-financed school voucher program, which is being used to fund creationist schools. See Louisiana Creationism Is National News.
While we weren’t paying attention, some litigation has been started. In the UK’s Guardian, this story appeared a few days ago: Louisiana education case highlights Bobby Jindal’s creationism state. It says, with bold font added by us:
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is rapidly emerging as a new “moderate” Republican voice, but a court case beginning Wednesday is set to shine light on a controversial policy in his state which sees government funding given to schools that teach creationism. The case has been brought by a Louisiana teachers’ union and is aimed at a voucher scheme whereby some parents can take their children out of poor state schools and get vouchers to use at private schools.
The Guardian article is dated 28 November, which was a Wednesday, so presumably the case started two days ago. The article continues:
One of the most controversial aspects of the programme is that some of the schools included on it are conservative Christian organisations that teach creationism in their science classes. When parents use the vouchers at such establishments they are effectively giving state money to teach children lessons that can include alternatives to the theory of evolution or questioning the widely accepted age of the Earth.
We already knew about that. Let’s read on:
One of the main Louisiana voices against the scheme is student activist Zack Kopplin. He began protesting the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act – a law that allowed public funds to be used at schools that teach creationism – as a high school project.
Right. We’ve written about that too. See Stop Governor Jindal’s Creationist Voucher Program. The Guardian article is a long one, and a lot of it is about Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Here’s an example:
Jindal, who will next year hold the high-profile position of head of the Republican Governors’ Association, has made numerous criticisms of Republican extremism in recent weeks. He even told one interviewer that the GOP should “stop being the stupid party”.
The case is just getting started and we didn’t think we had missed much by not posting about it earlier, but look what we just found at the website of Fox News: State judge rules Louisiana school voucher program unconstitutional. Here’s what it says:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s private school tuition voucher program has been ruled unconstitutional by a state judge. State Judge Tim Kelley said Friday that the program improperly diverts money allocated through the state’s public school funding formula to private schools. He also said it unconstitutionally diverts local tax dollars to private schools.
Wow — that was fast! Oops — we just noticed that it’s an Associated Press story, so we’ve probably copied all we can. You’ll have to click over there to read the rest. No doubt there will be more on this soon from other sources, so that’s all we’ve got at the moment.
Addendum: We found this at the MSNBC website: Jindal’s private tuition voucher program ruled unconstitutional. It says:
Mother Jones compiled a list of some of the “facts” students would learn in one of the 119 schools participating in the state’s program — from claiming that “God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ,” to globalization being a precursor to the Rapture.
There’s no word yet on how this ruling could affect similar programs in other states, including Indiana, whose state private tuition voucher program headed to the state’s Supreme Court last week.
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