Orthodox Union disappointed in ruling over state voucher program
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU) expressed its disappointment with a November 30 Louisiana state court ruling that the state’s controversial voucher program is unconstitutionally funded by money set aside for public schools.
The voucher program is seen as one of the most expansive in the nation. Created just this past year, it provides approximately 5,000 scholarships to low income students. The Louisiana judge who issued the ruling said that, while the program itself is constitutional, the program is wrongly funded because it uses monies set aside for public schools by the state’s constitution.
Through a statement today, the OU commended Governor Bobby Jindal for promising to appeal the court ruling. In addition the OU urged Jindal to defend his landmark school choice achievement by working with the legislature to find a new funding source as soon as possible.
“The governor is right to appeal the court ruling, but it is crucial that he work to find a new funding source to ensure that students receiving scholarships now continue to do so.,” wrote Maury Litwack, OU Director of State Political Affairs. “Regardless of the funding source, this program saves the state money by sending students to private schools. Gov. Jindal has been a champion for school choice, and we are confident that he will rise to this occasion
Although Community Day School has been very deliberate in declining interviews on the voucher program, it has been suggested they are affected by the voucher program in some small way. While not acknowledging or denying the possibility that some parents may be using the state voucher program for their children, Head of School Bob Berk again declined an earlier invitation this week to comment on the ruling or to elaborate further.