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DOJ changes strategy in fight against Louisiana school voucher program

The Justice Department has changed its strategy against the Louisiana Scholarship program, abandoning its request for a permanent injunction in favor of a “process of review,” a move Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.) warns could regulate the program out of existence.

A ruling in the U.S. district court of the Eastern District of Louisiana on Friday said the DOJ was “abandoning its previous request” that would have forced all future vouchers to be approved by a federal judge.

Instead, the Obama administration wants the state to undergo a lengthy review process and provide information on every voucher application prior to awarding them. The DOJ asked the court to “facilitate compliance” of Louisiana to provide “the timely sharing of school voucher program data.”

“We are pleased that the Obama Administration has given up its attempt to end the Louisiana Scholarship Program with this absurd lawsuit,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a statement on Monday. “It is great the Department of Justice has realized, at least for the time being, it has no authority to end equal opportunity of education for Louisiana children.”

“However, we will continue to fight, at every step, the Department of Justice’s new Washington strategy to red tape and regulate the program to death,” he said.

That “process,” which was laid out in a memo filed by the DOJ on Friday, would require the state to provide information on all student applicants for vouchers 45 days before any are awarded, as well as information of students already enrolled in the program.

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