|Articles, Campus Life, Louisiana, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-04-09 23:01Z by Steven|
Mark Walsh, Contributing Writer
A federal judge has ordered Louisiana to provide annual data to the federal government on the students participating in the state’s private school voucher program.
The April 7 order by U.S. District Judge Ivan R. Lemelle of New Orleans appears to bring to a conclusion months of skirmishing between the state and President Barack Obama’s administration over the voucher program and whether it will affect racial balance in the school districts still under court supervision for desegregation.
The judge largely sided with the U.S. Department of Justice, ordering the state to provide data about the racial background of students enrolling in the voucher program…
…The judge sided with the federal government in a skirmish over race classifications. The state had sought to exclude data on students who marked “black” as one of several race or ethnic categories they meet.
“The state is now suggesting, for reporting purposes, a ‘new definition of black’” that would fail to take account of mixed-race students, the Justice Department said in a March court filing.
“Adopting the state’s new proposed definition would thus undermine the United States’ ability to accurately and fully count students in public and private schools by race to evaluate … whether the voucher program has an impact on segregation in those schools,” the Justice Department said in the filing.
Lemelle’s order requires the state to include data for black students “defined as any student who indicated black either alone or as one of several race/ethnic categories.”…
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