In today's live chat with the Shreveport Times, Superintendent of Education John White was asked, "What do you plan to do if the voucher program is found unconstitutional?"
In the same state of magical denial that has typified the Jindal administration's approach to the State Constitution, White's only reply is "I don't think that's going to happen because the laws are constitutional."
His wish can only come true if courts are somehow able to completely misconstrue this very plain statement in the Louisiana Constitution: Public education's Minimum Foundation Program formula “shall be used to determine the cost of a minimum foundation program of education in all public elementary and secondary schools as well as to equitably allocate the funds to parish and city school systems."
Note there is no mention of private schools, religious schools, online course providers, home schools or the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Just "public elementary and secondary schools" in "parish and city school systems."
That is not the only constitutional issue at hand in the two lawsuits filed by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers to challenge both Act 1 and Act 2 of the 2012 legislature. In Gov. Jindal's so-called "reforms," the violations of our state's foundational legal document are many and egregious.
Which is why it verges on the pathetic that White continues to disparage efforts to defend the rule of law with statements like this: "I also think it's a shame, frankly, that people want to keep focused on politics and adult issues when families are trying to make a choice for their kids. No matter what a court finds, we're going to do everything we can to ensure parents have options."
Really? Wasn't it the Jindal administration's laser focus on the politics of education that steamrolled this very bad package of bills through the legislature? And aren't privatizing public education and funneling the state treasury into the hands of venture capitalists the adult issues that drive the Jindal agenda?
Perhaps fortunately for White, the Shreveport Times chat session ended before anyone could ask what he meant by the "No matter what a court finds" statement.