Refuse to Take Money or We’ll Sue
July 28, 2012
I wonder who actually thought this was a good idea:
The Hayride has learned that the Louisiana Association of Educators is sending demand letters to private schools participating in the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence program, the state voucher plan, insisting that those schools pull out of the program.
The letter in question threatens to sue unless the schools withdraw.
If we do not receive a signed copy of the attached letter from you by 4:00 P.M. on Friday, July 27, 2012, we will have no alternative other than to institute litigation against [school name redacted]…
The linked article states, correctly, that this is going to be a PR nightmare for the union. On the other hand, it also mentions that from a legal perspective, it makes perfect sense.
From a legal standpoint it’s understandable. The teachers’ unions are trying to beat the voucher plan with a lawsuit after failing to beat it in the legislative process, so it makes sense to sue the participants in the program along with the state.
The problem with this analysis, from my non-lawyerly perspective, is this: the union is currently in litigation against the state. If they win, there won’t be a program for the schools to participate in anyway. And even if they pick off some low-hanging fruit and force a few schools out with their thuggish threats, I strongly suspect it won’t be enough to make a difference if the court upholds the law (and the schools would likely re-apply anyway). All it does is make the LAE look like a bunch of petulant jerks who are throwing a temper tantrum because they didn’t get their way in the legislative process. I suspect that even people who would otherwise be inclined to support the union may be turned off by this stunt.