Calcasieu and Jeff Davis school superintendents react to voucher - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu and Jeff Davis school superintendents react to voucher ruling

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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes were involved in the voucher lawsuit, claiming it was unconstitutional. Close to 40 other school districts in the state filed suit against Governor Bobby Jindal's voucher program. 

Superintendents from both Calcasieu and Jeff Davis said taking money from the public school system isn't right.

"Everyone gets tired of us talking about money," Jeff Davis Parish Superintendent David Clayton said. "But it takes money to run a school system."

And like many educators across the state who are against Jindal's voucher scholarship program, Clayton believes the program is a mistake.

"So, we're going to be operating a system with more and more money leaving the system," he said.

Especially if more low-income students choose the voucher program. These students would qualify for Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funds to attend private or parochial schools. And educators say this is unconstitutional.

"I've been concerned about the constitutionality of some of the things. I've also been very concerned with the accountability that relates to it," Calcasieu Parish School Superintendent Wayne Savoy said.

He's concerned about the accountability of where the public school system's money, or taxpayer money, is going. And the future of the public school system.

"Do I worry about public education? Sure, I do," Savoy said. "I worry because sometimes people who are in positions that can really help public education, solve some of the problems that are thrown at us by society, really don't understand public education and really don't understand all the good things going on in public education."

And the final decision by State Judge Tim Kelley in Baton Rouge on Friday ruled Jindal's voucher program unconstitutional. 

KPLC caught up with both superintendents after the announcement and both agreed the right decision was made.

"I think it's a very fair decision. I think if we have a constitution in the state of Louisiana, then we need to follow what it says and that's what we need to do. We have to follow rules. Everybody has to follow rules," Wayne Savoy said.

Clayton said Kelley did his job. "Based on the constitution in the state of Louisiana as it's written at the time the ruling was absolutely correct and I applaud the judge for his courage in making that decision."

Both superintendents said the next step is just keeping an eye on their school systems and continuing to provide the best public education for the students in Southwest Louisiana.

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