Behind the Headline: Louisiana’s School Voucher Victory

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Louisiana’s School Voucher Victory
Wall Street Journal | 11/21/15

Behind the Headline
The Louisiana Scholarship Program
Education Next | Winter 2014

Earlier this month, a court in Louisiana overturned a lower court ruling that allowed the Justice Department to veto individual school vouchers awarded in Louisiana. The Justice Department had sued to block Louisiana’s voucher program on the grounds that it interfered with desegregation efforts.

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal opines

The rebuke punctuates a sordid, two-year case in which the Obama Administration sought to deny poor, black kids better educational opportunities under the pretext of promoting integration.

In a study published in the Winter 2014 issue of Education Next, Anna Egalite and Jonathan Mills found that

The evidence suggests that use of private school vouchers by low-income students actually has positive effects on racial integration. Among the subset of students for whom data are available, we find that transfers made possible by the school-choice program overwhelmingly improve integration in the public schools that students leave (the sending schools), bringing the racial composition of the schools closer to that of the broader communities in which they are located. In the school districts under federal desegregation orders, which are the focus of the Department of Justice litigation, LSP transfers improve integration in both the sending schools and the private schools that participating students attend (receiving schools). These findings should help mitigate fears that school choice is harming desegregation efforts in Louisiana.

Ed Next’s legal columnist Josh Dunn analyzes the latest ruling at greater length in “Voucher Victory.”

—Education Next

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