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School Voucher Legal Defense Costs Increasing By $750,000

The price tag for defending Gov. Bobby Jindal's education policies against legal challenges is growing.

The Department of Education is boosting its contracts for outside lawyers by $750,000, to represent the department in lawsuits against Jindal's voucher program that uses tax dollars to send children to private schools.

A majority of members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education agreed Tuesday to the legal spending.

The education department's contract with Washington-based law firm Cooper & Kirk is growing from $150,000 to $650,000. The agency's contract with the Louisiana-based Faircloth Law Group — the law firm of Jindal's former executive counsel, Jimmy Faircloth — is rising from $20,000 to as much as $270,000.

Lawsuits were filed challenging the financing of the voucher program and its compliance with federal desegregation orders.

Support for education reporting on WWNO comes from Baptist Community Ministries and Entergy Corporation.

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