Louisiana parents apply for Louisiana Scholarship Program

By Paul Dauphin

Parents of students from across the state are now able to apply to participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program, which allows low-income families with students enrolled in a C, D, F or T rated Louisiana public school – or entering kindergarten for the first time – to enroll in the participating private school of their choice.

“The scholarship program gives parents access to quality education options that work best for their individual needs,” said Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children. “The scholarship program already serves as a lifeline to thousands of Louisiana schoolchildren from low-income families.”

Families may apply online (www.lascholarshipprogram.org) or in person at the participating school of their choice now through Feb. 26. Award letters will be mailed by the Louisiana Department of Education in early April.

Across the state, 128 total schools will participate in the Louisiana Scholarship program during the 2016-17 school year. Of these 128 schools, 89 schools in 27 parishes are accepting applications for new students. More than 7,100 students are currently enrolled in the scholarship program.

Enacted in 2008 by a bipartisan group of legislators, the Louisiana Scholarship Program has the strongest and most transparent accountability measures of any program in the nation. Every child in the program comes from a low-income family. With 87 percent minority participation, the program gives many of Louisiana’s most at-risk students the opportunity to choose the education that best fits their individual needs.

Louisiana Scholarship Program Facts:

  • Scholarship students must take the same assessments as students in public schools. Student achievement on these assessments is used to determine the status of a school’s continued participation in the program.
  • Were Louisiana’s private school voucher program considered a school system for purposes of analysis, it would have ranked ninth out of seventy-one systems across the state in 2015 for annual performance improvement.
  • The increase in percentage of Scholarship students achieving at least mastery across all subjects in grades 3-8 (+4%) slightly exceeded statewide increases (+3%), while the increase in the percentage of Scholarship students achieving at least basic (+3%) outpaced the statewide average compared to last year (-4%).
  • Nearly 92 percent of scholarship program parents are happy with their child’s academic performance (2015 LFC/BAEO Parental Satisfaction Survey).