FALLOUT: Governor’s budget cuts yank scholarships from Louisiana kids
By Paul Dauphin
Imagine how a mother feels after getting a letter stating her child has been awarded a state-funded scholarship to attend a private school.
That’s how Nikesha Hudson felt upon learning that her daughter, Nicole Jack, was awarded a scholarship from the Louisiana Department of Education to attend Our Lady of Prompt Succor School in Westwego, Louisiana. Nicole was one of more than 1,400 new applicants to receive Louisiana Scholarship Program awards.
The Louisiana Scholarship Program provides low-income parents with the financial resources to send their child to the school of their choice.
Hudson received her award letter in April and has been preparing for the new school year since. She registered Nicole at her new school and spent $300 on uniforms.
This week, Hudson’s joy turned to disappointment as she received an email from the Department of Education informing her that due to a lack of funding, her child’s scholarship award would not be honored.
“The governor said no child would lose the scholarship because of the budget cuts,” Hudson told WDSU-TV.
“We are within two weeks before the beginning of the new school year and the parents of 442 children are scrambling to find a school,” said Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children.
Parents have few good options, especially in New Orleans where the OneApp open enrollment period has ended.
“All of the best seats are taken,” Duplessis added. “Parents are left having to choose from the least desirable schools.”
Now Hudson is trying to find a way to pay tuition so Nicole can attend Our Lady of Prompt Succor. “My daughter is crushed because she thought she was going to that school.”
Watch Nikesha Hudson’s story on WDSU-TV here: http://bit.ly/2asXiyX