Poll: Louisiana Voters Strongly Oppose Dept. of Justice's Attempt to Block Quality Education

Sep 20, 2013, 13:40 ET from American Federation for Children

BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation for Children, the nation's voice for educational choice, today released the results of a statewide poll showing fierce opposition to the Dept. of Justice's lawsuit which seeks to block educational options for low-income, minority children in Louisiana. Louisiana voters deem the Obama administration out of line in supporting this lawsuit, as evidenced by 63 percent of respondents who oppose this litigation, which seeks to limit educational options for some of Louisiana's most vulnerable children. Moreover, eight in ten Louisiana voters—regardless of political affiliation—believe it is every child's civil right to receive a quality education.

"These results send a strong message to our leaders in Washington--the people in Louisiana deplore this attempt to take away their right to a better education," said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the Federation. "This absurd attempt to take power away from parents will not be tolerated."

In late August the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit attempting to stop the Louisiana Scholarship Program from continuing during the 2014-15 school year in parishes with active desegregation orders. If successful, this lawsuit could send up to a thousand low-income, minority students in 22 school districts across the state of Louisiana back to failing and underperforming schools.

"This survey clearly illustrates that the people of Louisiana can see through the Dept. of Justice's malicious political maneuver for power," said Ann Duplessis, President of the Louisiana Federation for Children. "As a long-time supporter of President Obama, I am deeply disappointed that he is allowing this lawsuit to threaten the very children who most need an equal opportunity to receive a quality education."

Nearly 12,000 students applied for a scholarship in the spring of 2013 and 8,000 students were awarded a scholarship, a 60 percent growth in the Louisiana Scholarship Program over the previous year. A spring 2013 survey from the Louisiana Federation for Children and the Black Alliance for Educational Options shows 93 percent of parents are happy with their child's scholarship school.

Louisiana's scholarship program has the strongest and most transparent financial and academic accountability measures of any similar program in the nation. To qualify for the program, students must meet certain strict financial guidelines and must be enrolled in a school ranked C, D or F.

To view the survey results, click here.



SOURCE American Federation for Children