Judge to Rule on Vouchers

Nov 30, 2012

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19th District Court, Baton Rouge, La.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

Judge Tim Kelley will deliver a decision in 19th District Court Friday afternoon in the lawsuit challenging Louisiana's private school voucher program.

Both sides laid out closing arguments Friday morning.

Bob Hammonds, representing the 43 school boards that are plaintiffs in the case, said the state's decision to pay for vouchers through the public school funding formula was a clever way to garner resources that rightfully belong to local districts and save the state money.

In defending the state, Jimmy Faircloth argued that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education had met all its obligations to local districts in crafting the funding formula before allocating resources to vouchers. But the judge said that argument "bugged" him, questioning if it would still be constitutional if BESE tacked on billions worth of other expenditures.

Also at issue in the trial is whether lawmakers followed the proper process in creating the voucher program and passing the funding formula.

However the judge decides today, the case will surely be appealed.