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Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has lined up some national Republican support for his outrage that the Justice Department is trying to block Louisiana's school voucher program in districts that are under desegregation orders. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott joined Jindal for an outrage session on Wednesday, with Bush calling the Justice Department lawsuit "purely political." If by "purely political" you mean "intended to prevent schools from being segregated," it certainly is. If you mean, as Bush went on to say, "perhaps payback for political elections of the past," then no, not really.

As the Justice Department put it in its lawsuit:

[I]n the 2012-2013 school year, the State awarded scholarships to at least 570 students from 22, or nearly two-thirds, of the school districts operating under federal desegregation orders. In 13 of those school districts, State action in issuing vouchers to students caused the schoolwide racial demographics to stray further from district-wide demographic percentages and resulted in an increase in racially disproportionate representation in 34 historically segregated schools.
Jindal has aggressively marketed vouchers to African-American families, while describing the voucher program as a civil rights program (presenting various forms of school privatization as civil rights advances being a very intentional strategy of the corporate education reform movement, as Diane Ravitch has described). But many of the private schools that accept vouchers are church-run schools, often with extremely weak academic programs and little financial oversight, and the Justice Department lawsuit makes clear that in many districts, resegregation is the end result of the program.

The Justice Department isn't trying to block Louisiana's entire voucher program, just make sure that it doesn't undo desegregation efforts. And that's got Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, and Tim Scott terribly upset. Probably their anger isn't because they want increased segregation in Louisiana schools. But they certainly don't think that's a concern that should stand in the way of increased privatization in Louisiana schools.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wouldn't give them that much credit. (7+ / 0-)

    If they know that it leads to increased segregation, I am skeptical that this is not their intent.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 08:03:30 AM PDT

  •  Using schools as political pawns (6+ / 0-)

    Is just awful politics because it uses children who cannot vote as clear hostages to policies they have no effective voice in changing... more then that, it doesn't establish the key thing schools are supposed to do: educate with intent of establishing the scholars of the next generation.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 08:07:40 AM PDT

    •  Cons are people whose motives are always (6+ / 0-)

      ulterior and who advance their interests via deception and indirection.

      Segregation, whether voluntary or imposed, is important because it is required to validate the hierarchical social structure desired by the Cons to realize their self-importance. If there is no social ladder to climb, how will they know when they've arrived?

      Accomplishment is the key, you say? Easy for those who actually have some practical talents to say. But what does one do if mother nature has left him with nothing but the gift of gab?

  •  Of course, it's political. It's a power-play. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milkbone, elwior, sawgrass727, blueoregon

    It's also traditional in the sense that the Cons have always relied on public corporations as a source of munificence for themselves. They don't much care whether it comes in the form of doled out natural resources or sole-source contracts for goods and services or privileged legislation to protect property rights or monopolistic enterprise, in their perception the public corporations exist to serve the interests of the important people/ruling class. It's been the same since the colonial governors were tasked with "protecting" the English and Spanish and French settlers from the "savages." And let's not forget that the settlement of the North American continent was carried out pursuant to CHARTERS from the crowned heads of Europe. Charters are an example of privilege -- law that promotes private interests. This is in contrast to law that prohibits known bad behavior.

  •  It would be interesting to hear from (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sawgrass727, JeffW

    residents of Louisiana for some local context.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 08:21:20 AM PDT

  •  I live here. And the argument that this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neo Control, VClib, Be Skeptical

    is about segregation is just ridiculous.  It's about whether or not a state should have a voucher system, and the feds are using segregation as justification.  

    For example, with the exception of magnet schools like Ben Franklin or Lusher, the public school system of New Orleans is overwhelmingly -- in many schools, almost entirely  -- minority and poor.  That is largely because of the strong Catholic school system, which offers affordable educational choice to the middle class of all races.  All Catholic schools are integrated, and there are several historical African American schools that offer outstanding educational opportunities for middle class or working class students, like St. Augustine. Many middle-class families -- Catholic or not -- send their kids to the Catholic school system.  

    Several of the magnet schools, like Franklin or Lusher, and a few schools in more middle class neighborhoods, like Hynes in Lakeview, are integrated.  But those are not the schools where students will get vouchers.  

    When it comes to the poorly performing public schools (the ones whose students would get vouchers) they already ARE overwhelmingly poor and minority.  The notion that vouchers are some plot to increase segregation in those schools is laughable.  Those schools are already about as segregated as you can get.  That's not a good thing.  But that's the truth, and removing some of their students and sending them to private schools with vouchers is not going to make those schools any MORE segregated.  

    I understand the opposition to a voucher program.  My only point is that DOJ should be HONEST about the fact that they simply oppose a voucher program.  The DOJ argument that this is not about vouchers, but it's about segregation, is just laughable.  Nobody believes that.  It's about whether a voucher program is good policy, not about segregation.  

    •  This was my first thought, but I'm not local. (0+ / 0-)

      It's good to hear a local perspective.

      My sister went to a catholic school, as did some of my friends. Their educations were much more robust than mine.

      Granting minority students (apparently 90% of those receiving vouchers are black) the same access to private schools is something I support.

      This is about kids, and kids a are being helped by this. I don't give a damn about ratios.

      •  What offends me here is the DOJ (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neo Control, VClib, Be Skeptical

        trying to make this about segregation, which it is not.  

        I am completely open to having a discussion about vouchers, and whether they are good policy or not, and if so, how they should be implemented.

        I think it's dishonest for DOJ to try to throw out the inflammatory notion of segregation here when it's clearly NOT about that -- it's about whether vouchers are good policy.  Pretending it's about segregation is a way to try to paint supporters of vouchers as nothing more than racists to AVOID the kind of discussion we NEED to have about whether vouchers are a good thing or a bad thing for children in failing public schools.  

        •  Read through the filing. (5+ / 0-)

          For one thing, the filing indicates that this isn't about New Orleans schools.  Orleans Parish is not currently subject to a federal desegregation order.

          It's getting a bit technical here, but a school district under a federal desegregation order has to get approval from a federal court before undertaking any action that might upset efforts to integrate the public school system -- basically, that means even a minor change to attendance zone boundaries must be approved by a federal judge before they can go into effect.  The suit argues, essentially, that giving out vouchers in districts under a federal desegregation order, without approval from the federal judge presiding over the case, is in violation of the law.

          Again, Orleans Parish is not presently under a desegregation order (according to the lawsuit) so it's actually not of any concern here.

          29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

          by TDDVandy on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:56:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for not buying into the GOP meme.  Always a good idea to read the papers yourself and definitely NOT take the word of a Republican about what the lawsuit is about.

            I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

            by ccyd on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:14:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  On the other hand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratcityreprobate, Be Skeptical

      I am assuming (a) that this is about ALL of Louisiana, not just New Orleans, and (b) this may not be the case in the rest of Louisiana.

      29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:37:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is about segregation. (0+ / 0-)

      Anything that changes the racial imbalance of the public schools is promoting segregation. This is why I have for a long time supported mandatory, universal public education. I have no problem with parents who want to provide education beyond what their child get from their public school, but all school age children should be in the public school system, and school assignment should be done so as to keep all the schools populations balanced racially and economically across the district.

      Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

      by rhonan on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:11:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Catholic Schools (0+ / 0-)

      During white flight, the church set up a school and church parish in every neighborhood in the suburbs to funnel "trained in the Catholic way" students to the over priced high schools.  People can no longer afford tuition, consequently we have Jindal's vouchers as pay back to the church for their support.  Actually, Franklin and Lusher were the first charter schools created for high achieving students, as was NOCCA for talent.  The term charter and magnet are not one and the same and charters are no longer special.    Jefferson Parish has magnet schools with charters just starting to show up.  I am a product of Orleans public and Catholic schools.  My son has received a very hybrid education due to the current school chaos.  The vouchers do pay for online courses that schools do not offer or as a way to obtain a course that cannot be fit into a schedule, but the state offered the same virtual courses w/o the voucher in prior years.  Just another way to sneak the voucher in.  

  •  Of COURSE they want segregation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After all, if children of different races grow up together, they might actually fall in love and get married!

    The horrors! (snark)

    Women create the entire labor force.
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 08:48:55 AM PDT

  •  Pot meet kettle (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo, JeffW, JML9999

    Pretty funny / ironic that Jindal is pulling in big gun Republican politicians to complain that the DOJ lawsuit is political.

    Seems to me that Jindal doesn't expect the Louisiana defense to stand up on its own merits so he's overtly injecting politics to influence the process.  

    Politicians decrying politics is a very lame defense though.

  •  No benefit of the doubt (4+ / 0-)

    I'm positive the end-goal is exactly more segregation, less integration.

    Do not give these sons of bitches any benefit of the doubt.  They haven't earned it, ever.  They do not deserve it.  Please, we should all give ourselves permission to think the ABSOLUTE WORST OF THESE PEOPLE,  because every time we've given them the benefit of the doubt, they've STABBED THIS NATION RIGHT IN THE BACK.

  •  Jindal's Plummeting Approval (7+ / 0-)

    Don't discount this as a reason for the ginned (no pun) up outrage.

    Vouchers exist to destroy public education, which has to die because poor people have to know their place and besides, teachers are in unions, which are always evil.

    Because when it comes to "purely political", ignoring today's ridiculous House vote while making a production out of a minor blip in Louisiana is standard issue rightist bullshit.


    by Johnny Wendell on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:31:56 AM PDT

  •  Jindal Exorcizing his authority as Governor nt (0+ / 0-)

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:06:42 AM PDT

  •  This idea that we need to send kids... (0+ / 0-) crap schools to satisfy the needs of desegregation is idiotic. So is the idea that smart kids need to be brought down to the level of dumb kids (in spite of claims that smart kids raise dumb kids up)

  •  Bush showing his face for 2016 n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  charter schools (6+ / 0-)

    The whole concept of charter schools is a cancer.  Taking schools out of the local school board loop means losing control over local tax money--losing control over curriculum--losing oversight over the health, safety, and education of children state constitutions demand get an adequate education.  In my area of NC, it's a way to get funding for Christian Academies--and I thought we had separation of church and state.
    On top of that--even if run by localities, charter schools sift the population--get the children with the most informed parents.  Separate but equal was settled over 50 years ago--be it for segregation or economic class or religious background.  Schools should be run by educators--not politicians or businessmen/women or clerics.

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

    by melvynny on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:23:09 AM PDT

    •  What do you do when decades of corruption (0+ / 0-)

      and incompetence of the local school boards has left the local schools on the brink of losing their accreditation?   (see DeKalb County, GA, for example).

    •  I have direct experience with 3 Charters in Philly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melvynny, Ahianne

      I would fight until I dropped dead before one of my children ever attended.  The first was run by a board of well-meaning, but incompetent parents.  The second was a Charter cyber school and did not provide the services promised.  The third was operated by a for-profit management company that abused teachers and drained the rest of the school district dry to the tune of millions of dollars a year.

      Charters were a noble idea whose time should never have come.

      I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

      by ccyd on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:21:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Except I don't think of it as a "noble idea."  One motivation was segregation, another was privatization, another was blame the teacher, another was spend less--refuse to do compensatory education for "under-privileged" children.  In the 1960s, this last method was tried in NYC--"More Effective Schools"--it worked, it was expensive, it was dropped.
        Money and racism rule our country--we are truly not "exceptional" in a positive sense.

        Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

        by melvynny on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:13:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Screw you, asshole (0+ / 0-)

    Hey Jeb, maybe you'd like to tell us how much education money YOU'VE robbed the public of. Let's talk about your investments in testing companies. OK then, STFU.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

    by anastasia p on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:31:21 AM PDT

  •  And Jeb Bush's 'outrage' isn't political? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You know he's going to run. God, what would Freud say about the Bush family?

  •  Purpose of school vouchers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Most of the elite Republicans and "libertarians" just want school vouchers because they want poor working people to underwrite the private school educations of rich kids.

    When you send your kids to Georgetown Day that little extra financial help will be SO useful, freeing up money for all sorts of other things.

  •  What is it with Republicans? (0+ / 0-)

    Does that R after their names turn them into assholes?  Or were they assholes before and joined the GOP because that is where assholes hang out.  Chicken or the egg?

    I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

    by ccyd on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:04:21 AM PDT

  •  GOPers hate it when Dems play their game! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Another nail in the coffin of ol' Jebby... n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:32:20 AM PDT

  •  I'm A Liberal, But (0+ / 0-)

    Shouldn't the goal of our elected officials be to use the country's resources to secure the best education possible for students ?

    Even if vouchers cause somewhat more segregated schools, I still favor them.

    What are some of my fellow liberals afraid of ? That if a student gets an opportunity to go to a private school that it might prove that such schools have better discipline, expect more from students, are less tolerant of tardiness and truancy, and won't allow teachers (or fellow students) to be treated with any disrespect. Or that such schools will expel students who are disruptive or who fail to do their assignments ?

    There will ALWAYS be schools that are not racially balanced.

    Because there will ALWAYS be communities that are racially unbalanced.

    The idea of trying to enforce racial balances in schools was a dumb one to begin with.

    The emphasis should be on encouraging diligence and excellence in schools and making sure that schools in poor areas have the proper tools to ensure that every student has a fair chance.

    And not worrying about the racial composition of schools.

    "Love Is Why We're Here"

    by Paniolo Joe on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:19:48 PM PDT

  •  corporate education reform (0+ / 0-)

    They have brought into the idea that the state is unable to educate it's citizen. Bobby Jindal has personal experience with this idea since his state rates at the bottom in graduation rates.

    CEO of

  •  Let's get a grip here and call it for what it is. (0+ / 0-)

    To begin with Jindall is just another right wing neocon intellectual pimp bought and paid for by the petroleum industry - so nothing that flies out of his mealy mouth should be surprising.

    So now that we have that out of the way, let's take a look at what happens when the right wing "privatizes" or "deregulates" something, shall we? The introduction of a profit motive into anything relating to the general welfare of a people ALWAYS results in two things: first, the few at the top who end up owning the concession get unimaginably wealthy as a result; and second, the privatized "product" ends up being expensive to buy and worthless to own.

    Two examples come to mind:

    1. Reagan and the airline industry. After the 1981 Air Traffic Controller putsch and the subsequent deregulation of U.S. airline corporations, the most ignored statistic in history began to accumulate: during the 80s there were more commercial aircraft disasters due to inadequate ground control and poor maintenance practices than the previous 4 decades combined. It wasn't until the late 80s and early 90s when the FAA started to figure out that - whether they be private or public - someone needed to set some hard and fast safety standards and figure out how to put some teeth into them. "Caveat emptor" just didn't work at 35,000 feet and at 525 miles an hour. Too many people were dying... and too much money was being paid out to the surviving families.

    2. Bush and non-combative support personnel (aka Rumsfeld's contractor buddies). Among the other multiple reasons for having ratings and MOS's in the armed forces like culinary specialists, builders, electricians, equipment operators, personnel specialists, and so on was to provide for the eventuality of combat support by these staff when called upon to do so. Recently people wonder where all the money that was poured into Iraq went and what did we get for it when the so-called "reconstruction"phase of operations was engaged prior to the stand down of combat operations. The answer is simple: "private contractors". if they built anything at all, the methods were shoddy at best and usually dangerous... one man was electrocuted in a newly- built restroom because of bad wiring. And even when there was a firefight to engage in a moment's heat of battle, the actual troops had to concern themselves with protecting the civilian contractors first - cooks, construction personnel and others - before engaging the enemy... which was never an operational waste of valuable time and effort in a combat zone before "privatization" was introduced in a place that should have never been.

    Moral of the story: so if you think your kids are getting a lousy education in public school now, just wait until some right wing idealogue converts your kid's education to one that's based on a profit motive. Completely aside from the secular slant on science he'll get which will guarantee that he'll never make a living in technical, medical or research fields, you'll be lucky if the kid can spell his own name by age 16. And then when you get the bill for "services rendered", you'll spend the rest of your life paying it down at 35% interest.

    Conservatives do just as good a job at ignoring human nature as Marxist communists -  they fail to understand facts in the context under which they occurred and they assume that greed and the need to live comfortably do not have any effects on the consequences of their ideology - which is why both of them fail the human race miserably every time someone tries it again.

  •  Selling out their future (0+ / 0-)

    Privatization, especially the kind of privatization republicans push, is nothing more than a way to guarantee a steady flow of campaign money back to politicians. Whether it be prisons, security companies, schools or water companies, privatization usually means higher costs and poorer service for customers or in this case taxpayers.
    What is truly sad is that republicans have now stooped to pimping the states children to the highest bidder. And their base will go along with it because they are told to.  They'll swallow the line that privatization is always better than public because it just is.

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