Louisiana’s Supreme Court has ruled that money reserved for public schools can’t be used to pay for private school tuition under the state constitution.
The 6-1 decision, handed down Tuesday, undermines the school voucher program that was a keystone of the education overhaul pushed through the legislature by Gov. Jindal last year.
In a written statement following the ruling, Jindal said the program is, “alive and well.” Nearly 5,000 students are enrolled at private schools through the voucher program. Roughly 8,000 students have been offered vouchers for next year.
The legislature’s bipartisan budget negotiations have yielded a late-night preliminary deal, struck after the legislature closed up shop on Monday. The plan will cut tax exemptions and reduce spending to curb the state's dependency on one-time funds.
Despite the threat of rain, proponents of state-funded supports that allow developmentally disabled individuals to live at home – rather than in institutions or group homes – rallied at the state capitol Wednesday.
Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge closed its doors for good last month. The cooperative endeavor agreement between the hospital, the state and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center for the take-over and eventual shutdown of EKL was reached more than two years ago.
Erica Barham, Kimberly Burkett and Lauren Richard are all former Registered Nurse Supervisors in the EKL Emergency Room. Mental Health Emergency Room Extension Supervisor Amy Germain also used to work there.
They tell WRKF’s Ashley Westerman the transition was bungled and even on closing day, critical questions about how patients would get care and follow-up remained unanswered.