BATON ROUGE, La., Nov. 30, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) expressed great disappointment, today, in the decision of Judge Tim Kelley in the Louisiana school choice trial. Judge Kelley of the 19th District Court in Baton Rouge ruled that the Louisiana scholarship program is unconstitutional. Advocating on behalf of the Louisiana parents and children whose lives will be directly impacted by the ruling, BAEO declared the decision "a violation of civil rights" that will "yield damaging effects on the lives of thousands of children."
"Justice and equality has not prevailed in this case. As a result of this decision, hope and opportunity have been taken away from families who are only trying to escape failing schools and gain access to better educational options," said BAEO President, Kenneth Campbell. "We are outraged at the groups who felt it was necessary to go this far to rob our students of high-quality educations. In actuality no one was a winner today."
"Sadly, the Court's ruling represents a major loss, not only for our parents and their children, but for our community as a whole. When our children are denied a quality education, our entire community suffers," said Eric Lewis, State Director, Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options (LaBAEO).
LABAEO played a significant role in helping to expand parent choice options across the state by working on the ground to advocate for and empower parents to fight for the right to choose quality educational options that best meet the needs of their children. Most recently, the scholarship program served nearly five thousand children throughout Louisiana whose families were able to leave their failing neighborhood schools to attend better schools that offered them a greater chance of achievement. The program has been touted for its ability to increase Louisiana's educational outcomes, overall.
In response to the ruling, LABAEO says it will continue the fight for justice and equality for Louisiana children. "Today, we are pledging to fight even harder for our children," said Shree Medlock, BAEO's National Director of Advocacy. "We believe that a quality education is a right that every child should enjoy and we will do everything in our power to overturn this ruling. In the end, justice and honor will be the deciding factors in ensuring that our children's educational needs take priority over money and politics."
Also in response to the trial, BAEO Founder and Chairman, Dr. Howard Fuller, said "It is a proven fact that educational options empower low-income and working-class parents to choose the education or learning environment that best meets the needs of their children. It is a freedom of choice that gives them the power to help improve the lives of their families and it is the key to improving education in our country, in particular, the state of Louisiana, where so many of our children are failing. I can't think of any just reason why anyone would want to take those freedoms away."
Nationally, BAEO actively supports parental choice policies and programs that empower low-income and working-class Black families by working to increase access to high-quality educational options for children who have been underserved by traditional education systems.
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Source:Black Alliance for Educational Options