Louisiana is one of the nation’s leaders in educational choice, with the strongest and most transparent academic and financial accountability measures.
Louisiana’s School Choice Options
The Louisiana Scholarship Program is designed to provide students with additional opportunities to attend the school of their choice. Student applicants are eligible to receive state-funded Scholarships to enroll in participating nonpublic schools or high-performing public schools.
To be eligible to receive a Scholarship award, new students must be a resident of Louisiana, be entering Kindergarten or have attended a Louisiana public school with a C, D, or F letter grade the previous year, and have a total family household income that does not exceed 250% of the federal poverty guideline ($61,500 for a family of four in 2017). Scholarship awards cover all tuition and mandatory school fees. Students participating in the Louisiana Scholarship Program are granted admission through a lottery process and are required to take all state assessments.
Louisiana Scholarship Program Parental Satisfaction Survey
- 94.3% of parents are very satisfied or satisfied with their child’s current Scholarship school.
- 95.4% of parents are happy with their child’s academic performance at his/her Scholarship school.
- 99.4% of parents say their child feels safe in his/her Scholarship school.
- 99.0% of parents say they and their children feel welcome at their child’s current Scholarship school.
- 98.6% of parents of kindergarten students say they are happy with their child’s academic performance.
The Tuition Donation Credit Program is a nonrefundable tax credit for taxpayer donations that provide scholarships to students for attendance at a qualified nonpublic school of their parent’s choice. Non-profit School Tuition Organizations (STOs) receive these donations and award the student scholarships.
To be eligible to receive a Tuition Donation Credit Program award, students must have a household income that does not exceed 250% of federal poverty guidelines and either be entering kindergarten for the first time, have attended a Louisiana public school during the previous school year or have received a Louisiana Scholarship Program award in the previous year.
School Tuition Organizations award scholarships to eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis. Students must still apply directly to the nonpublic school of their choice for enrollment. Schools retain their admissions process and criteria when making enrollment decisions. If admitted, families may then use the scholarship to pay for tuition and are responsible for any fees and tuitions not covered by the scholarship.
Louisiana currently has three School Tuition Organizations participating in the Louisiana Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Please visit Arete Scholars Louisiana, ACE Scholarships Louisiana, or New Schools for Baton Rouge Excellence Scholarship Fund for more information.
The School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities (SCP) empowers families of students with exceptionalities with the opportunity to select a school that the family feels will best address the student’s needs.
Students participating in the SCP must have been evaluated by a Louisiana public school and determined to have any one of the listed exceptionalities. The student must have an Individual Education Plan, district provided services plan or a nonpublic school created service plan; and is eligible to attend a Louisiana public school.
- Developmental Delay
- Emotional Disturbance
- Mental Disability
- Other Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Charter schools are public schools in Louisiana that exercise increased levels of autonomy in exchange for increased levels of accountability. They are able to make decisions about curriculum, staffing, and budgets based on the specific students enrolled in their schools. In exchange for this increased autonomy, charter schools are held accountable to an increasing set of accountability expectations year-on-year in order to continue serving students in Louisiana.
20 years after the Louisiana Legislature enacted the first charter school law, more than 70,000 students attend 139 charter schools in 34 cities across the state.
How and When to Apply for Private School Choice Programs
Louisiana Scholarship Program
- New Orleans
The OneApp main round application window for the 2018-2019 school year is Nov. 1, 2017 – Feb. 23, 2018. OneApp is the unified application process for public, charter and Louisiana Scholarship Program schools located in New Orleans. Click here to apply.
- Outside of New Orleans
The statewide application window is Jan. 10 – Feb. 23, 2018.
The window to apply to participate in the Louisiana Tax Credit Scholarship Program opens in 2018.