NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former state Sen. Ann Duplessis has been named president of the Louisiana Federation for Children, the state arm of a national group that supports private school tuition vouchers.

As a state senator, the Democrat sponsored a voucher program for New Orleans that later was expanded statewide.

Wednesday's announcement comes as Louisiana's voucher program stirs renewed arguments at the state and national level.

Gov. Bobby Jindal is criticizing the Justice Department for court action designed to require a judge's approval before vouchers can be issued in districts that are under long-standing desegregation orders.

Voucher supporters say the tuition program gives students trapped in failing public schools a chance at a better education. Opponents say vouchers steer badly needed money from public schools.

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