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DC bureaucrats are attempting once again to interfere with the educational choice of parents. Do states have the right to direct education for the students that reside there? If the latest battle in Louisiana is any indication, some in the federal government won't be happy with anything other than invasion of your rights.
When school choice passed in the Bayou state, resistance from teacher's unions was expected. It’s what they do. But almost immediately the Louisiana Supreme Court also began fighting school choice options that empowered parents. The matter continued to escalate when the Department of Justice decided to step in to force their will on a state issue.
Attorney General Eric Holder and the DOJ argued, ridiculously, that school vouchers which helped get kids out of failing schools and into successful schools, were racist. The argument that getting kids out of failing schools would lead to increased racial segregation was proven false and, in fact, the opposite was proven true.
In November, the DOJ announced that they would drop the lawsuit, requesting only that they be informed about children who are using the vouchers. That, of course, is none of their business either. “This is a typical Washington move,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, “The updated Department of Justice request reeks of federal government intrusion that would put a tremendous burden on the state, along with parents and teachers who want to participate in school choice.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said “This is a huge victory for so many families and students who the Department of Justice tried to deny the best possible education. But the fight isn’t over. President Obama still believes Washington knows better than Louisiana parents.”
Regardless, many school choice advocates were excited by this seeming capitulation by the feds. There shouldn’t have been anything on which to capitulate, as it’s ridiculous that the DOJ intervened in the first place. As for me, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Eric Holder hasn’t proven himself to be a reasonable man, so why would he see the error of his ways now? It’s great that Louisiana’s kids still have access to better schools, but we shouldn’t have to celebrate a state being allowed to make its own decisions. In this example, the best case scenario is one in which the federal government ends up with the ability to collect data to which they are not entitled. One wonders if they intentionally went too far so that they could “compromise” to get what they wanted.