The Justice Department is suing Louisiana for issuing school vouchers to students in districts under desegregation orders. The federal government says the system is undermining racial balances in public schools.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in New Orleans says issuing vouchers for private schools is reversing progress made toward integration. The plan allows low-income students in failing schools to transfer to private ones.
The Justice Department says white students have transferred out of schools that have a black majority and vice versa.
There are 70 school districts in Louisiana — about half are under desegregation orders.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says the lawsuit will prevent families from getting their children out of failing schools. The lawsuit seeks to require court approval for all vouchers in districts under desegregation orders, starting in the 2014-15 school year.