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Jindal & Jeb Vouch for Vouchers at Press Club Conf.

Recently, NoDef highlighted that Louisiana's own Gov. Bobby Jindal was taking the show on the road, along with former Governor Jeb Bush, to voice dissent over the DOJ’s recent education filings. The feds’ decision could halve part of the state’s education program—designed to move certain students of out failing schools.


Jindal's public speech, given at a National Press Club Newsmaker news conference this past Wednesday, was part of a recent campaign by the Gov. to preach the virtues of the ACT 2 program. The initiative is essentially is a scholarship program that moves students out of under-performing schools.


Following the meeting, Jindal highlighted the effort further by linking up to the web, snipping on twitter, "The actions by President Obama on the DOJ education lawsuit are cynical, immoral, and hypocritical."


The DOJ's official statement cites that Louisiana did not obtain the necessary federal approval to institute such a program, especially in areas where there are standing desegregation orders, as a means of preserving equal rights.


Jindal's education policy has been tested before, and found wanting by the Supreme Court, and even more by advocates fighting a creationist textbook loophole in the school code.


Still no one is saying boo on what to do about Louisiana's systemically failing schools. Rather ironic, given that when Jindal was on Meet The Press recently, the Governor was adamant that, "The next great Civil Rights fight is really about making sure that every child has a great education."


"There are too many kids, in this country today, trapped in poor neighborhoods with poor, failing public schools," the Governor said. "In Louisiana, we're doing something about it."


Jindal said that programs like Act 2 let the dollars, "follow the child" out of many of the state's poorest schools—performing at the C,D, or even F level in testing. Jindal specifically cited teachers’ unions and the DOJ, as obstacles, trying to spin the DOJ’s legal argument against them. Bobby said that rather than enforcing the desegregation orders, the Justice Department was preventing choice, not ensuring fairness and freedom from discrimination.


"Now the [DOJ] is using the same rules that were there to prevent discrimination against children, is going after some of these parents—some of these kids—and saying, 'We don't know if we want you to make this choice. We need a Federal Judge.'"



Though Jindal is talking a good game, Jindal from one year ago has some good points on education too.


When testifying before the Louisiana House's Education Committee last March, Jindal was asked why a "C" score was considered a failing grade for a Louisiana school—essentially why a C was not good enough.


In his response, Jindal said, "Increasingly, the economic development competition are between neighboring southern states, [so] it's not good enough to be above-average in the South, and not good enough to be middle of the pack nationally. So, my answer to you is: a C-score, where up to a third of the kids are below grade-level it's not good enough when [Louisiana's school] are at the bottom five in the country...that's why we owe it to our children to give them a great education."


In fact, during that same meeting, the Governor says that all schools in the state have room for improvement.

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