State District Judge Mike Caldwell, who earlier threw out parts of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education reform law that limited the authority of local school boards has dealt another crushing blow to the Louisiana’s gonenor’s* overreaching education revamp.
Caldwell had earlier left intact the provision that made it more difficult for teachers to attain job protection via tenure but on Monday agreed with the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and reversed his previous ruling, saying that the entire bill must be declared unconstitutional because too many different items were crammed into it.
In previous court cases, Judge Tim Kelley, Caldwell’s contemporary in the 19th Judicial District which is East Baton Rouge Parish, had struck down the method by which the state, through Jindal’s school voucher program, planned to pay private-school tuition with public funds.
Both Kelley and Caldwell are Republicans and Kelley’s wife served as Jindal’s commissioner of administration during most of his first term.
Prior to those two rulings, a federal judge knocked down the proposed voucher program, saying that it had the potential to disrupt a desegregation consent decree in Tangipahoa and possibly other districts.
Another 19th Judicial District Judge, Republican Tim Morvant, ruled back in January that a 401(k)-style retirement plan for future Louisiana employees was unconstitutional because it had received only a simple majority of legislative votes instead of the required two-thirds vote.
The administration has said in each case that it would appeal and repeated that assertion following Monday’s ruling but all in all, it’s not been a good few months in court for Jindal and his attorney, Jimmy Faircloth.
But at least all those appeals will keep the meter running for Faircloth.
*Gonenor is a hybrid word coined by one of our readers (we only wish we could take credit) that combines the words “gone” and “governor,” which, when combined, implies (correctly) that Gov. Jindal is often absent from the state.