"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, November 26, 2012

Louisiana Constitution on Trial and Schools on the Chopping Block

Louisiana has the highest number of black student retentions in the nation to go along with the highest black incarceration rate in the U. S.  The private prison industry is worth $182 million a year when beds are full, and "Louisiana's incarceration rate is nearly five times Iran's, 13 times China's and 20 times Germany's."  To say that it is a police state is hardly an exaggeration, and the charter reform schools in poor black areas are run like junior penitentiaries.  

The State hired a new State Superintendent a couple of years back, a former English major from UVA with TFA credentials. The state's latest scam to privatize public schools, and it comes in the form of a state school voucher program. Now it's up to the Courts:

BATON ROUGE, La. — A Baton Rouge judge will hear arguments next week over whether Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's statewide taxpayer-funded school voucher program and other sweeping education changes were properly created by lawmakers.
After months of behind-the-scenes legal haggling since a lawsuit was filed in June, the court hearing is set for Wednesday. District Judge Tim Kelley set aside three days for the case.
Two statewide teacher unions and dozens of local school boards say the voucher program that is using tax dollars to send children to private schools and other new education funding plans are unconstitutional.
They argue it's illegal to pay for the voucher program, home-schooling, online courses, college tuition and independently run charter schools that won't be affiliated with local school systems through the public school funding formula.
They also claim lawmakers didn't follow the constitutional requirements for filing and passing the education programs and their funding.
"This is about protecting the constitutional rights of all Louisiana's school children -- not just a select few. Our state Constitution promises that every child in Louisiana will be provided with an educational setting that will give them the opportunity to develop to their full potential and that's exactly what we're trying to protect," Joyce Haynes, president of the Louisiana Association of Educators, said in a statement about the case.

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