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In April, Governor Bobby Jindal made history by signing into law one of the largest school choice programs in this country’s history. Included in the reform package was an expansion of the widely successful voucher program which would allow children in all low performing Louisiana schools to relocate via a voucher. The bill, which passed by a large margin, was heavily opposed by the Louisiana teachers union. Remember the footage of the teacher’s union field trip out front of the State House Building?
Shortly after the bill was signed into law, the teachers union once again went on offense by announcing they would file lawsuits to challenge the constitutionality of the law. This however wasn’t good enough. Just yesterday, a Fox News article stated that the Louisiana teachers union is threatening to sue private schools who choose to accept voucher students. The article states, “A Louisiana teachers union is threatening private schools with legal action if they accept money from a new voucher program – and the threat has already forced at least one school to put its participation in the program on hold.” So let me get this straight, according to the teachers union, if a private school decides it would like to help a child escape a failing school they should be hit with legal action? Violation of private property and privacy rights aside, this aggressive tactic is just another example of union thuggary that has become all too well known over the past few years. Governor Jindal agrees stating to Fox News, “Union leaders are stooping to new lows and trying to strong-arm schools to keep our kids from getting a quality education.” Whatever the rationale behind these new attacks they seem to be working. “St. Theodore Holy Family Catholic School responded two days after the letter was sent, saying it will not accept funds until the lawsuits are resolved.” What’s even more disturbing is that more schools are likely to follow this path.
The Louisiana Teachers Union has stooped to a new low. Regardless of political ideology, when a special interest becomes the most powerful entity in the state something has gone horribly wrong. How is it possible that a union can be more powerful then virtually anybody in the state? According to Friedman Foundation this action is unprecedented. “We’ve never seen anybody go after private schools like this,” Susan Meyers, spokeswoman for the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, said Monday. “To actually intimidate, it borders on thuggery.”
The outcomes of these lawsuits remain to be seen, but what is becoming more apparent is the disgusting and vial levels these unions will go to protect their power. The teachers union is pulling out all the stops to protect a failing system that no one could defend. What remains is just how much further they are willing to go. Could they actually go any lower? I guess time will tell…