Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Louisiana Supreme Court Invalidates State School Voucher Program

The Louisiana Supreme Court today in a 6-1 decision held that the state's school voucher program enacted in 2012 violates the state constitution.  In Louisiana Federation of Teachers v. State of Louisiana, (LA Sup. Ct., May 7, 2013), the majority addressed both the statute creating the program (Act 2) and the Senate concurring resolution (SCR 99) approving the funding formula created by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The majority said:
SCR 99 and Act 2 unconstitutionally divert MFP [Minimum Foundation Program] funds to nonpublic entities in violation of La. Const. art. VIII, § 13(B), which requires state MFP funds to be allocated equitably to “parish and city school systems.” We also hold that ... SCR 99 did not satisfy all that the constitution requires of a matter intended to have the effect of law. SCR 99 was not timely introduced or considered in the legislative session and the final vote on SCR 99 was insufficient to enact a matter intended to have the effect of law.
Justice Guidry filed a dissenting opinion. The Advertiser has reactions of various Louisiana officials to the decision.