Friday, August 17, 2012

LAE Moves Forward With Legal Challenge

*On June 22nd, 2012, leaders from LAE affiliates across the state gathered in Baton Rouge to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Act 2 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 99 of the Louisiana Legislature's 2012 Regular Session. On July 12th, Baton Rouge judge Tim Kelley ruled that he did not have jurisdiction to grant LAE an injunction which requested a delay in funding for the two new, Jindal-backed education laws. LAE attorneys asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to review this decision. On Wednesday, August 15th, LAE attorneys were notified that they were once again denied their request for an injunction. The following news release was distributed to Louisiana media outlets on Thursday, August 16th, in response to this decision.

LAE Moves Forward With Legal Challenge

Ruling Only Denies Request For Spending Halt
Constitutionality of Education Laws Still In Question

BATON ROUGE, LA – August 16, 2012 – LAE say they will move forward with a lawsuit seeking a declaration that Act 2 and Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 99 are unconstitutional, despite the Louisiana Supreme Court’s denial of a request to put voucher spending on hold pending the outcome of a decision on the constitutionality of the laws.

“The courts only denied our request for a spending halt; the merits of the case have not yet been determined,” said LAE President Joyce Haynes. “The constitutionality of these laws is still very much in question. Until a final decision is made on the merits, we will continue our appeal to the courts. We stand behind our commitment to make sure that every child in Louisiana has access to a quality public school education.”

On July 12th, Baton Rouge judge Tim Kelley ruled that he did not have jurisdiction to grant the injunctive relief requesting a delay in funding for two new, Jindal-backed education laws. LAE attorneys requested review of that decision.

“Through our request, we were hoping to prevent the recipients of funds from having to pay back the money when the courts hear the case and rule that Act 2 and SCR 99 are unconstitutional,” said LAE Attorney Brian Blackwell. “If Superintendent White and members of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education were so confident in the legality of these laws, they should have agreed to litigate this case quickly, rather than have it go beyond August 1st.”

Blackwell went on to point out that state education officials could have also agreed to delay funding until the issue surrounding the constitutionality of the funding of non-public education under the new laws was resolved. President Haynes said her association's focus remains on protecting the interests of the 99% of Louisiana students whose families chose to keep them in the public schools.

“This is about protecting the constitutional rights of all Louisiana’s school children—not just a select few,” she said. “Our state constitution promises that every child in Louisiana will be provided with an educational setting that will give them the opportunity to develop to their full potential and that’s exactly what we’re trying to protect.”

The trial will proceed on October 15th before Judge Tim Kelley of the 19th Judicial District Court in East Baton Rouge Parish.

1 comment:

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