Echoing a district court ruling, the Louisiana Supreme Court today denied a request for an injunction to halt funding for Governor Bobby Jindal’s controversial school voucher plan. A trial to determine the constitutionality of the voucher scheme will proceed as scheduled on October 15, however.
The Supreme Court affirmed District Judge Tim Kelly’s decision that the judiciary cannot enjoin the voucher program because Superintendent of Education John White and Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater signed affidavits claiming that an injunction would create a deficit in the state budget.
“Even though we contend that their statements are demonstrably false – there is no way that not spending money can cause a deficit – the courts must accept the affidavits as factual and cannot challenge them in any way,” said Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan. “Judge Kelly was very clear when he told us the law does not allow him to question the truthfulness of the statements by White and Rainwater.”
The Louisiana Federation of Teachers and others have sued the state on grounds that Act 2 of 2012, which established the voucher program, violates the state constitution for at least two reasons, and did not pass the legislature by the required number of votes.
Today’s ruling has no bearing on the legitimacy of the challenge or the ultimate outcome of the case. The LFT had sought the injunction to spare the confusion that will come if the law is declared unconstitutional while students are already attending voucher schools.
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