From a press release out this afternoon…
Louisiana Family Forum joined Alliance Defending Freedom in filing an amicus brief with the Louisiana Supreme Court in support of the Louisiana Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence program.
“Louisiana Family Forum is proud to stand for Louisiana families by filing this brief,” Gene Mills, President of Louisiana Family Forum, said. “Louisiana residents believe scholarships work, especially for Louisiana families bound by failing public schools. Parents who live in districts where public schools are under-performing may now choose a school that works and are no longer forced to choose a school merely based on zip code.”
The program expanded in 2012 throughout all of Louisiana. The original pilot program began in New Orleans in 2008 due to Hurricane Katrina. In November 2012, State District Court Judge Tim Kelley ruled the scholarship program’s funding mechanism to be unconstitutional after the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and School Boards brought a lawsuit before the court. The state has since filed an appeal with the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Alliance Defending Freedom filed this amicus brief on behalf of the non-profit advocacy groups Louisiana Family Forum, Family Research Council, and The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property as well as several faith-based schools throughout Louisiana: Evangel Christian Academy, Faith Christian Academy, Lafayette Christian Academy, and Hosanna Christian Academy. These supporters share the sentiment that the program should continue and parents should be given the choice where to send their child to school.
As ADF attorneys state in the brief, “students who participate in school choice programs–and in scholarship programs in particular–graduate at an almost 20 percent higher rate than their peers” and “exhibit improved academic performance.” Louisiana’s Scholarship Program is supported, among others, by the BESE Board, La. Department of Education and Gov. Bobby Jindal.