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Bobby Jindal: [Obama] Breaking a promise to children
St. Paul Pioneer Press ^ | 9/9/13 | Bobby Jindal

Posted on 09/09/2013 4:45:05 PM PDT by rhema

While President Obama publicly celebrated the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech last month, his administration took action behind the scenes in Louisiana that was a complete rejection of King's dream.

The Justice Department has challenged my state in court for having the temerity to start a scholarship program that frees low-income minority children from failing schools. In other words, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder would rip children out of their schools and handcuff them to the failing schools they previously attended. And, in the ultimate irony, they are using desegregation orders set up to prevent discrimination against minority children to try to do it.

Never mind that 90 percent of the children receiving scholarships in Louisiana are minorities or that 100 percent of their parents choose to apply for these scholarships.

By his own words, the president is fighting for the right of these children to live the American dream, but his actions would destroy their dreams.

We as a country have made significant progress toward King's dream. We have more work to do, but this blatant political maneuver by the Obama administration will set the fight for civil rights back decades.

We all know the harsh cycle of poverty that exists in the United States and that a disproportionate share of those in poverty are minorities. Studies of health-care outcomes, incarceration levels and economic opportunity all show that education is key to improving quality of life.

Millions of single parents in this country work two jobs to make ends meet, hoping that their children won't have the same struggles. Hope is their only option because they live in neighborhoods with chronically failing public schools and lack the means to move to better school districts or to send their children to private schools.

Obama and Holder think this should continue to be the reality. In Louisiana, we think the opposite is true. We believe every child deserves the opportunity to get a great education.

That's why we started a school choice program in 2008 in New Orleans and expanded it statewide in 2012. Low-income families with children in schools graded C, D or F by the state are eligible to apply for a scholarship and send their children to schools of their choice.

The program works. From 2011 to 2013, students who had been trapped in failing schools and now attend scholarship schools showed improvement on literacy and math tests. The share of students performing at grade level rose 7 percent, state data show, even though in 2013, 60 percent of students taking the test had been in their new schools for only eight months. More than 90 percent of parents of students participating in the program reported satisfaction with their children's schools.

This opportunity is perhaps these children's best chance to escape the cycle of poverty. No one in their right mind could argue that the Justice Department's efforts to block the scholarship program will help these kids. This can only be an attempt to curry favor with the government unions that provide financial largess and political power.

President Obama should do the right thing and order the Justice Department to drop the lawsuit. Not because I am asking, but because the parents and children in the scholarship program deserve an opportunity. For generations, the government has forced these families to hope for the best from failing schools. Shame on all of us for standing by and watching generations of children stay in failing schools that may have led them to lives of poverty.

If the president and the attorney general believe their path is right, I invite them to come to Louisiana and look these parents and children in the eyes and explain why they believe every child shouldn't have a fair shake.

If the administration does not drop this lawsuit, we will fight every step of the way until the children prevail. Giving every child -- no matter race or income -- the opportunity to get a great education is a moral imperative.

It's worth reminding the president of his own words about education. In his 2010 State of the Union address, Obama said: "The best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education... . And in this country, the success of our children cannot depend more on where they live than on their potential."

The president was right, but he hasn't made good on his words, and now he is threatening to break his promise to our children. Heed your own words, Mr. President, and give every child the opportunity to succeed.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: education; holder; justicedept; obama

1 posted on 09/09/2013 4:45:05 PM PDT by rhema
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To: rhema
We in Louisiana should secede from the criminal, oppressive, communist government in Washington DC

I hate the communist pos Obama

2 posted on 09/09/2013 4:48:58 PM PDT by Democrat_media (IRS rigged election for Obama and democrats by shutting down tea party)
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To: rhema

Good article!

3 posted on 09/09/2013 5:53:41 PM PDT by uncitizen
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To: rhema
This should hasten the transition from a "blue" state to red.

Most of the public schools in LA are horrible. Some of the charter schools are on par with the better private schools, but they admit kids on a lottery basis. Probably more than half of the applicants are disappointed from the lack of admittance.

So why not offer an opportunity to those who want a better education - to use their tax dollars to attend a school that motivates and educates kids - "our future"?

Unions. Gotta feed the unions. They in turn feed the Rats. Screw the kids.

4 posted on 09/09/2013 5:55:47 PM PDT by uncommonsense (Liberals see what they believe; Conservatives believe what they see.)
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To: rhema

“Heed your own words, Mr. President, and give every child the opportunity to succeed.”

Obama is sorry that the children weren’t Oborted, his job is to make those who were born miserable.

5 posted on 09/09/2013 10:45:41 PM PDT by FreedomGuru (Oil is organic.)
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To: FreedomGuru

how does Obama “give” them anything without taking it from someone else first?

6 posted on 09/09/2013 10:52:06 PM PDT by GeronL
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