11.05.2013 0

Obama sends kids to the back of the bus on education

Gov. JindalBy Robert Romano

Decades-old desegregation orders on Louisiana school districts, the center of a federal government case against Louisiana’s school choice program, are now emerging as a major distraction for the Department of Justice bringing the case.

The Justice Department is arguing that allowing students to leave public schools for private schools will somehow undermine desegregation of schools in Louisiana.

Yet, when the state in discovery asked for the desegregation orders, the administration responded by stalling. “[S]ome of the Discovery Requests seek documents that may be available only in federal archives and may require significant time to retrieve; the United States will then need to review and evaluate those documents, determine what to produce, and prepare any related objections.”

How embarrassing. Republican Governor Bobby Jindal noted the irony in a statement, saying the Obama administration in its filing had admitted “that it sued the state based on documents the Department of Justice is not able to readily produce.”

Perhaps the reason for that is the case actually has nothing to do with racial segregation. As even the Washington Post editorial board recently noted about the school choice program in Louisiana, “most of the students using vouchers are black.” Meaning, the effect was to boost black enrollment in private schools where they are underserved, not to reimpose segregation.

Since the vouchers are available regardless of race, they cannot serve to segregate at all on the basis of race. The argument put forth by the administration simply cannot follow. It is a non-sequitur.

Instead, there is ample evidence this has everything to do with keeping taxpayer funding flowing to public teachers unions and Democrat Party causes. Indeed, the only thing that might be undermined by the program is enrollment in public schools across the board if school vouchers should become more widely available.

In that sense, the true segregation in education being enforced today is not based on racial quotas, but on the monopoly public schools teachers unions insist on imposing.

“This is the Obama administration, this is Washington D.C., putting the needs of government unions over the needs of our children,” Jindal declared in a recent speech at an Americans for Prosperity gathering.

Gov. Jindal is right. School vouchers take dollars out of public schools, and the unions hate it. It forces them to compete. They care more about pocketing those tax dollars than helping kids get a better education.

So beholden is the Obama Administration and Holder Justice Department to the unions like that National Education Association, they are willing to gut a school choice program that black students disproportionately benefit from. They’re willing to send those kids to the back of the bus by leaving them in failing schools.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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