Baton Rouge, La. (Jan. 12, 2015) – The Louisiana Federation for Children (LFC), the state’s voice for educational choice, today announced the Louisiana Department of Education’s release of the 2015-2016 Louisiana Scholarship Program student application. The Louisiana Scholarship Program provides low-income families with the financial resources to choose a school that will prepare their child for a lifetime of success.
Beginning today, students from across the state are able to apply to participate in the program, which allows low-income families with students enrolled in C, D or F-rated schools to transfer to the participating private school of their choice. Students entering kindergarten for the first time may also apply.
“The Louisiana Scholarship Program is transforming the lives of thousands of students across the state – allowing them to leave failing and underperforming schools and attend a school of their parents’ choice,” said Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children. “The program provides an option that a parent might not otherwise have, the opportunity to provide a brighter future for their children.”
Families may apply online or in person at the participating school of their choice now through February 27. The Louisiana Department of Education will notify all applicants of the status of their application the week of April 6.
The Louisiana Department of Education has determined that 129 schools are eligible to participate in the program for the 2015-2016 school year. Of the 129 eligible schools, 91 will accept new student applications. The list of participating schools will not be final until after all student applications are received and scholarships are awarded.
The Louisiana Scholarship Program boasts the strongest accountability measures of any similar program in the nation, ensuring students in the program receive a quality education. Students participating in the program are required to take the same assessments as Louisiana public school students. Participating schools are held accountable for scholarship students’ academic performance.
The Louisiana Scholarship Program was expanded by a bipartisan group of legislators in the spring of 2012; prior to that, the program served students in Orleans Parish. In June 2013, both Democratic and Republican Legislators joined together to fully fund the program, which saved the taxpayers nearly $22 million in 2013-2014.
Louisiana Scholarship Program Facts:
- Nearly 92 percent of parents surveyed report they are happy with their child’s scholarship school, and close to 91.7 percent of parents report they are happy with their child’s academic performance.
- More than 13,000 students applied to participate in the scholarship program for the 2014-2015 school year and nearly 7,400 low-income students enrolled in participating schools. This represents a growth of over 1,050 percent since the program’s inception in 2008.
- The scholarship program has also demonstrated strong academic growth since it began in New Orleans. Student proficiency on the LEAP and iLEAP grew 2.4 percentage points, from 41.6 percent in 2012-2013 to 44 percent in 2013-2014.
- Of students entering the scholarship program from public school for the first time, 70.7 percent previously attended a D or F public school, 92.6% qualified for federal free and reduced-price lunch, and 5.2% had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
- The scholarship program has received strong bipartisan support in the Louisiana Legislature.
The Louisiana Federation for Children, a project of the American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice, is dedicated to promoting educational choice by protecting, growing and expanding scholarship programs for low and middle-income children.
Ann Duplessis is a former legislator who served on the Senate Education Committee and fought successfully to expand educational options for Louisiana’s children by authoring and supporting numerous pieces of school choice legislation. Duplessis resides in New Orleans and remains active in numerous civic activities.