Court rules that Louisiana's attempt to divert public school funds to private charter schools is unconstitutional
In delivering his ruling, Judge Kelley said, “This has nothing to do with whether or not public funds can support a voucher program. Instead, it has to do with a particular funding mechanism, and whether it can be used for private enterprise.”
In his 39-page written decision, Judge Kelley confirmed that Act 2 and the legislative approval given to use the MFP to fund the multitude of school choice programs—a document known as SCR99—ran afoul of the state constitution by diverting state public school funds away from those public schools. Further, he found that Act 2 and SCR99 divert local tax dollars dedicated to public schools away from the purpose for which voters approved those taxes.
Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association—a plaintiff in the case—applauded the judge’s ruling.
“We agree with the decision,” says Richard. “We didn’t want it to come to this, but if the issue had been properly vetted during the legislative session—instead of railroaded through—we wouldn’t have needed to do this.”