01.07.2014 2

Bobby Jindal beats Eric Holder, Obama

Governor Bobby Jindal

Photo Credit: Bobby Jindal’s Official Flickr Account

By Tom Toth

Since 2008, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s reform efforts to give the opportunity of an excellent education to each student through school vouchers have hit Democrats in the most damaging way possible: Success.

As of the fall semester in 2013, roughly 8,000 Louisiana students in families with economic hardship are attending scholarship schools through the state’s voucher program with improved test scores, graduation rates, and 93 percent satisfaction from parents. The average family income in-state for voucher scholarship applications is $15,564 and nine in ten of participating students are minorities.

Desperate to deter the rest of the nation from following Jindal’s leadership in teacher union-hated alternative education tools, the Department of Justice (DOJ), led by Attorney General Eric Holder and his boss Barack Obama, last August filed a lawsuit against Louisiana’s school voucher program on questionable grounds.

The DOJ alleged that, because the vouchers were being used mostly by minority families, and therefore sending a high amount of minority students to alternative schools with the state vouchers, the program violated federal laws of school integration from the 1960s.

Indeed, Holder and Obama argue that too many poor minorities are receiving a good education by escaping failing schools.

The ridiculousness of the administration’s accusations didn’t go unnoticed; many in the media criticized the merits of the suit, Jindal’s administration was well-prepared to fight it in federal court, and the nation watched Holder and Obama run — with proverbial tails between their legs — from the fight, abandoning their lawsuit only weeks later.

Presumably, the administration calculated that the impending embarrassment of arguing that case in court was worse than the humiliation of abandoning a federal lawsuit.

Whatever the case, Obama’s rep tape regulatory firepower will now try what either the administration’s legal teams couldn’t accomplish or public relations teams couldn’t spin. The DOJ has mandated that Louisiana send the federal government information on all voucher scholarship applications and hold acceptance on said applications for 45 days while administration officials reviewed them. In addition, each school district involved with the program must provide “an analysis of the voucher enrollments … with respect to their impact on school desegregation.”

No such requests from the federal government investigating the disproportionate amounts of minorities attending failing schools in poor districts have been forthcoming.

Programs like Governor Jindal’s are effective, progressive solutions to 21st century education problems in states like Louisiana. Democrats are at a distinct disadvantage to fight for better education results given the millions in campaign contributions that teachers unions account for.

Democrat solutions, therefore, must necessarily also contain union-demanded stipulations such as no teacher accountability or achievement records, unfair seniority advantages for faculty, and damaging tenure requirements from the status quo that are direct contributors to states’ education problems.

Conservatives like Jindal face no such constraint.

Conservatives are free to pursue unbridled innovation with the purpose of giving every child in every school district the opportunity for a quality education, regardless of family income, ethnic background, or zip code. Jindal’s plans are working for Louisiana. Other states will have different solutions to different problems, and Conservatives exclusively own the full field of possibility.

Because of this, the left will pursue any means necessary to stop his leadership and discourage other governors, state legislatures, and school boards from following suit with successful policies that consequently work against Democrat interests.

So far, Conservatives like Jindal are winning.

Tom Toth is the social media director and a contributing editor for Americans for Limited Government.

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