Vouchers on Trial
4:58 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Voucher Program Transforms Christian School

A voucher student considers an editing worksheet in Beverly Ortego's English intervention session.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

Tuesday, the state Supreme Court will hear arguments in a suit from local school boards and teachers unions wanting Louisiana's school voucher program thrown out.

The legal challenges came almost as soon as the program was passed last year as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal's education overhaul.

Despite that, Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge went all in.

The school took on almost 300 voucher students, nearly doubling its enrollment. And Hosanna is doing everything it can to make sure all those students can perform at grade level.

Read more
8:10 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

State Supt. Aims for Vouchers, With or Without School Funding Formula

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is slated to approve the school funding formula next week. The new proposal, released Thursday, still pays for the voucher program with dollars that would otherwise go to local districts. But, state Supt. John White is pitching alternative financing that would skirt the formula.

Read more
5:57 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Voucher Program Set to Grow Despite Court Battle

Applications for vouchers are available for the upcoming school year. The statewide program is continuing into its second year.

A district court judge ruled in November that the voucher program could not be funded with the same pool of money that supports public education in Louisiana.

Read more
9:52 am
Wed January 23, 2013

No 'Plan B' for Funding School Vouchers

The finance chief for the Louisiana Department of Education had a hard time answering questions Friday about alternate plans for funding the 4,900 low-income elementary and secondary students attending private schools.

Read more
5:16 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

New Laws Impact Voting, Sex Offenders, School Vouchers

One of the state laws going into effect Jan. 1 provides tax rebates for donations to organizations that will pay private and parochial school tuition for students from low and moderate-income families wanting to escape under-performing public schools. The rebates come into play barely a month after a state judge ruled a similar voucher program couldn’t be paid for through the formula for funding public schools.

Louisianians will also be able to check boxes on their tax forms to designate resources to fighting fraud in the state’s food stamp program.

Read more
The Jim Engster Show
11:37 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Bryan Preston, Eric Lewis, Bill Davis

Jim talks with conservative blogger Bryan Preston who is upset with sportscaster Bob Costas' pro-gun control rant during halftime of the Kansas City Chiefs game Sunday, Dec. 2.

Eric Lewis, director of the Louisiana chapter of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, explains why he feels the recent state court ruling against Gov. Bobby Jindal’s private school vouchers law was a mistake.

Jim visits with Bill Davis, frontman of Dash Rip Rock, which has a new CD release called “Black Liquor”.

The Jim Engster Show
11:33 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Bob Mann, Kevin Phillips, Steve Monaghan

Jim talks with LSU mass communications professor Bob Mann about the results of the 2012 election.

Author and historian Kevin Phillips discusses his new book, “1775”, about what he calls the most important and eventful year of the American Revolution.

Louisiana Federation of Teachers president Steve Monaghan on last week’s ruling by a state district court judge against the constitutionality of Governor Jindal’s private school tuition vouchers law.

Vouchers on Trial
6:57 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Judge: Vouchers Can't Be Paid for in Formula for Public School Support

Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to appeal a court ruling against his school voucher program. Teachers unions and local school boards filed suit to stop them.

Read more
Vouchers on Trial
4:14 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Voucher Ruling is In

State Judge Tim Kelley declared today that the way Louisiana lawmakers created the statewide private school voucher program was constitutional, but the way it was funded was not.

Kelley said the case had nothing to do with whether or not public funds can be used to support vouchers, but he said the state couldn’t do so through the public school funding formula known as the MFP.

The district court ruling is a victory for the teacher unions and school boards that want to stop the voucher program and others that would funnel money away from public schools.

Read more
Vouchers on Trial
11:46 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Judge to Rule on Vouchers

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

Follow WRKF on Twitter from real-time updates from the trial.

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.

Read more