NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that the state can continue its private school tuition voucher program in Tangipahoa Parish, despite the Tangipahoa Parish School Board’s claim that the program could affect a decades-old school desegregation case.

A U.S. District judge had blocked the voucher program in Tangipahoa. But a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued a stay of the judge’s order. The appeals court said the state has shown it is likely to win an appeal in which it argues that the judge improperly issued an injunction against the voucher program.

Monday’s 5th Circuit ruling said a district court is not free to interfere in state spending decisions simply because funding levels may incidentally affect a federal decree.