41 Days of School Choice: Day 3 – Louisiana Scholarship Program Transforms Lives
Washington, DC (August 6, 2014) – The Louisiana Federation for Children and the American Federation for Children celebrate the Louisiana Scholarship Program today, as part of an ongoing initiative to highlight all 41 school choice programs across the country. More than 13,000 families across the state applied to participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program for the 2014-15 school year. Next year, 133 schools in 33 school districts and 30 parishes will participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program, which offers students a way out of schools that do not work for their specific needs.
The program was enacted in 2008, but has grown considerably and parents have continued to be more than satisfied with their children’s choice school. The program awarded 1,000 more scholarships for the 2014-15 school years than in the previous years.
“The Louisiana Scholarship Program is a lifeline for our state’s children who would otherwise be trapped in failing and underperforming schools,” said Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children. “Thanks to this program, these students have access to the kind of education that works best for their individual needs.”
Angelle Green, a parent with three children enrolled in the scholarship program, experienced great frustration with Louisiana schools after moving to the state. Her children were not being challenged in the public school system and grew bored in their education.
“It’s not okay to have a big, nice, beautiful school when they’re not learning anything,” Green said. “From the beginning of the year to the end, my kids had trouble. I can’t afford [tuition] for all three. I think it’s every parent’s right to be able to choose which school works for us and which doesn’t. Not every school works for every kid.”
- Must attend a poorly rated school or be entering kindergarten
- Family income can’t exceed 250 percent of poverty level ($58,875 for a family of four)
- Private schools must be approved by the state prior to participation in the program
- Administer state examinations required under the school and district accountability system
- Submit to state and annual independent financial audits
- Maintain a curriculum of quality at least equal to that prescribed for public schools
The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.