The left’s tactic of intimidation is at work again, this time in Louisiana. The Louisiana Association of Educators is threatening litigation against private parochial schools in the state that plan to accept voucher students this fall.
This past Wednesday, private schools that have elected to participate in the new statewide school choice option received a letter from the union’s attorney threatening that litigation would be brought against them unless they signed a letter informing the Louisiana Department of Education that they will not be accepting voucher students.
The Pelican Institute writes that “while it has become commonplace for unions to challenge state school choice programs on constitutional grounds, threatening the schools that offer to accept voucher students appears to be unprecedented.” Pelican continues:
Clint Bolick, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute in Arizona, has argued and won landmark cases in state and federal court on behalf of school choice programs around the nation. “In over two decades of school choice advocacy, I’ve never seen thuggery of this magnitude. What the unions can’t accomplish in the courtroom, they’re trying to achieve through bullying schools whose only offense is offering educational opportunities to children who need them.”
Just two weeks ago, a judge in Louisiana blocked an injunction request by the union that would have prevented funding of the voucher program. An appellate court subsequently dismissed the union’s request for an appeal. So they have, as the Fordham Institute’s Adam Emerson writes, “turned to bullying the schools.” At least one school has reportedly pulled out of the voucher program as a result of union intimidation.
Schools, parents, and policymakers in Louisiana, who have pushed to have one of the broadest choice programs in the country, should not bend to union strong-arm tactics. These tactics are to be expected, but they should serve as a sign that the unions are grasping at straws to try to maintain the status quo—and it won’t work.