BAEO Responds to DOJ's Attempt to Block Low-Income Black Children from Receiving High-Quality Education

For more information:
Tanzi West Barbour at (202) 253-6233 or at tanzi@baeo.org.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has continued its pursuit to deny low-income children in Louisiana an opportunity to get a better education by filing a motion to block the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and the parents of scholarship recipients from intervening in a lawsuit where DOJ is suing the state of Louisiana, more specifically 34 parishes in the state that are still under a desegregation law, claiming that the state's scholarship program unlawfully allows students to leave failing public schools and go to high-performing private schools by way of a scholarship.

"DOJ has wrongly decided to not only sue the state of Louisiana to stop the state scholarship program in 34 parishes but they want to also silence the voices of parents who are standing up for their children's education by intervening in the lawsuit. Denying the voice and choice of parents is immoral, and DOJ should be ashamed," said Kenneth Campbell, President of BAEO.

The Louisiana Scholarship program was created to give children from low-income and working-class families a way to escape failing schools by applying for a scholarship and choosing a school that for them holds the promise of a better education

"BAEO believes that ALL children deserve the right to have access to a high-quality education. We are an advocacy organization that fights for the rights of low-income and working-class Black families to choose where their children are educated. Our mission is to save every child that we can through programs like the Louisiana Scholarship Program. So yes, we're going to intervene," said Campbell. "We're going to intervene until there is a ultimate decision from the court that the program is lawful."

Nearly 7,000 students are enrolled in the scholarship program statewide.

"This is not just about a lawsuit. It's about ensuring that our children are equipped to compete in the global marketplace. If our children are denied the right to a high-quality education, not only will they not be able to function as economically productive citizens, they will also not be able to be effective participants in the effort to engage in the practice of freedom and in the transformation of their world," said Eric Lewis, State Director for the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options.