Bobby Jindal was dealt a blow by the Louisiana court when it handed down its decision against the Governor's proposed voucher program, stating that it is in violation of the Louisiana Constitution's provision for educational funding.
Americans United reports that a strong provision in the Louisiana Constitution that protected the separation of church and state was removed in 1974 by lobbies that included the Roman Catholic Church.
The precluded a separation clause challenge, and the report also states that it violates another provision regulating how tax money is drawn from the Minimum Foundation Program, which stipulates that these monies must be used for all public elementary and secondary schools, and provides for an equitable allocation of funds to parish and city schools.
It was the Minimum Foundation Program that cinched the victory for the education groups. The challenge specifically stated that, according to the program, tax money can only be spent on public schools.
Judge Tim Kelley was quoted in the story as saying,
“The MFP was set up for students attending public elementary and secondary schools and was never meant to be diverted to private educational providers.”
Jindal replied to the court decision, stating that it was,
"…a travesty for parents across Louisiana who want nothing more than for their children to have an equal opportunity at receiving a great education.”
Americans United addressed the failure of Louisiana to seriously invest in public education, and cited a long record of trying to channel tax money from public to private, religious schools.
According to a report in the Seattle Times, Jindal and his supporters have planned an appeal, stating,
"On behalf of the citizens that cast their votes for reform, the parents who want more choices, and the kids who deserve a chance, we will appeal today's decision, and I'm confident we will prevail."
For more commentary, quotes and analyses, read the story at Americans United.