Louisiana Legislature Votes to Fully Fund the Louisiana Scholarship Program

The Louisiana Federation for Children (LFC), the state’s voice for educational choice, applauds the passage of  legislation that will fully fund the Louisiana Scholarship Program for the 2019-2020 school year. Today, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers passed HB 105 that will provide $41.9 million to fund Louisiana’s private school choice program. The bill now heads to Governor John Bel Edwards for his signature.

“The Louisiana Scholarship Program provides access to quality education options for the state’s most at-risk students – with 100 percent coming from lower-income families and many having attended underperforming public schools,” said Kelli Bottger, State Director of the Louisiana Federation for Children.

“We would like to thank lawmakers who have steadfastly supported a parent’s right to choose a school that best fits the unique needs of their children.”

The Louisiana Scholarship Program received more than 10,000 applications from parents for the 2018-2019 school year, with 6,892 students enrolled in 121 schools in 31 school districts across the state. Participation in the Louisiana Scholarship Program has grown steadily since the statewide expansion of the program in 2012, when 4,967 students received scholarships.

An April 2019 University of Arkansas study of the effect of the Louisiana Scholarship Program on college entrance found that 60 percent of Louisiana Scholarship Program students enter college.

LFC’s annual Parental Satisfaction Survey found an overwhelming majority of parents approve of academic gains and support the Louisiana Scholarship Program. 96.7 percent of parents surveyed said they were happy with their child’s academic progress and 92.5 percent of parents were very satisfied or satisfied with every aspect of their child’s Scholarship Program school.

Created in 2008 and expanded statewide in 2012, the Louisiana Scholarship Program allows low and moderate-income families with students in failing public schools or students entering kindergarten for the first time to transfer to the private school of their choice.

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The Louisiana Federation for Children, a project of the American Federation for Children, seeks to improve Louisiana’s K-12 education by advancing systemic and sustainable public policy that empowers parents, particularly those in low-income families, to choose the education they determine is best for their children.
LFC supports a wide range of educational choice initiatives, so that high quality public, charter and private schools flourish and parents will have the opportunity to select the quality school that works best for their children, and so that teachers will have the flexibility to select the school that best utilizes their strengths and interests. LFC also fights against bills and regulatory attacks that would create barriers for families in existing school choice programs.