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Jindal: Next Civil Rights Fight Is Making Sure Every Child Has Access To A Great Education

On "Meet The Press" this morning, Governor Bobby Jindal (R-Louisiana) blasted the U.S. Department of Justice for filing a petition challenging equal opportunity for education and school choice in Louisiana.

JINDAL: So, a couple things. Obviously, I disagree with the president. I think we still have a deficit and a debt crisis. Debt's nearing $17 trillion. Which is the bigger point. I want to pick up on something some of your earlier guests said. When it comes to the American dream, I think the next great civil rights fight is really about making sure that every child has a great education.

Look at all the disparity numbers, and it really comes down to making sure that every American has a chance to get a great paying job, starts with a great education. Let's be honest. We all like to say we're for equal opportunity and education. But that's not the reality in America. If your parents have the means, they'd probably move to a good neighborhood with good public schools.

Or they're saving their dollars to send you to a good private school. There are too many kids in this country today trapped in poor neighborhoods with poor, failing public schools. In Louisiana, we're doing something about it. Ninety percent of our kids in New Orleans are in charter schools. In five years, we've doubled the percentage of kids doing reading and math on grade level.

We've now taken our program statewide so the dollars can follow the child. Too many people are still standing in the way. The teacher unions fight against that just on Friday. Department of Justice said they were going to go to court. Now listen to this. We've got a scholarship program. Hundred percent of the kids are low income. Hundred percent of the kids are in failing schools, C, D, or F schools. Ninety percent of the kids are minorities.

8,000 of those parents have chosen to take these dollars and send their kids to better schools, to other schools, where they can get a better education, where it's a better fit for their children. Now the Department of Justice using the same rules that were there to prevent discrimination against minority children is going after some of these parents and some of these kids and saying, "We don't know that we want to allow you to make this choice. We want you to have to go to a federal judge." We need to provide a great education for every child.

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