Jindal says 'local control is best' for schools
Gov. Bobby Jindal says a TV ad campaign that begins airing statewide today, in which he defends Louisiana's school voucher program, is designed to take his case against federal intervention in the program directly to the people. "I don't think the federal government should be running our schools," Jindal tells Daily Report. "That is why we are fighting so hard this Justice Department intervention against our scholarship program. Parents know their children's needs best. Let parents decide." Jindal is spending some $500,000 of his own campaign funds on the TV spots, which ask viewers to log on to a website and sign a petition protesting the federal government's efforts to halt the popular voucher program. The program was one of the hallmarks of Jindal's 2012 education reform package and has enabled some 8,000 students from failing public schools to attend private schools. The Justice Department is trying to temporarily cease the program, contending it conflicts with a federal desegregation order. Jindal says the fight with the feds over the voucher program is not unlike the battle some residents of southeast Baton Rouge are waging as they attempt to create a breakaway City of St. George that would enable them to have a separate public school district. Jindal says he would be supportive of the effort if enough residents sign the petition to put it on the ballot. "It should be up to local folks to get together and decide what is best for them," Jindal says. "Whether it's St. George or anywhere in the state, we believe local control is best." —Stephanie Riegel
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