Posted: Aug 24, 2013 2:07 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2013 9:16 PM
NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. Justice Department is trying to stop the state from distributing school vouchers in any district that remains under a desegregation court order.
In papers filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, the Justice Department said Louisiana distributed vouchers in 2012-13 to nearly 600 public school students in districts that are still under such orders, and "many of those vouchers impeded the desegregation process."
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal called the department's action "shameful" and said President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder "are trying to keep kids trapped in failing public schools against the wishes of their parents."
The Justice Department says Louisiana has given vouchers this school year to students in at least 22 districts remaining under desegregation orders.
Jindal called school choice "a moral imperative."
Parishes affected in the WBRZ viewing area include: East Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and West Baton Rouge.