Teacher union threatens to sue private schools if they accept gov’t vouchers

A Louisiana teachers union is threatening private schools with legal action if they accept money from a new voucher program – and the threat has already forced at least one school to put its participation in the program on hold.

The demand was sent a few weeks ago by law firm representing the Louisiana Association of Educators and several other interests, and it argues the state-approved program is illegal because participating schools would be receiving an unconstitutional payment of public funds.

The two-page letter further states if schools don’t agree, then the law firm has “no alternative” than to take legal action.

“Our clients have directed us to take whatever means necessary to prevent the unconstitutional transfer of public money,” wrote Brian Blackwell, of the firm Blackwell & Associates.

The Louisiana program was initiated by Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, and expands on one started in 2008. The state legislature approved the proposal in April, now making the program essentially open to students in kindergarten through grade 12.

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