Education

U.S. Justice Department Softens Suit Against Louisiana Vouchers

November 20, 2013

Politicians sent out a flurry of news releases Tuesday morning to say the U.S. Justice Department had dropped its school desegregation lawsuit against Louisiana's vouchers program. But U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle's clerks said the case is still on. Oral arguments are still scheduled Friday for 10 a.m., all parties are expected to attend and the court has received no documents indicating anyone wants to dismiss or leave the case.

State Superintendent John White said the same thing, despite announcements of victory in the case by the man who picked him for the post, Gov. Bobby Jindal.

"On Friday, we will be continuing this case with our lawyers and the federal lawyers in court," White said.

The confusion stemmed from an order Judge Lemelle issued Monday to ratify the Justice Department's statement -- in September -- that it has softened its suit against Louisiana's school voucher program and dropped its request for "injunctive relief." The Justice Department still wants to monitor the program via the court, but it said two months ago it was no longer looking to bar the state from issuing some vouchers without court permission.

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