Opportunity Time for New Orleans Parents

It is opportunity time for parents in New Orleans, as the application period for the Louisiana Scholarship Program begins this week. Thousands of families will apply for scholarships that will allow their child to escape a failing or underperforming public school.

Established in New Orleans in 2008, and expanded statewide in 2012, the Louisiana Scholarship Program allows low-income families with students attending a C, D, or F rated public school; or entering kindergarten for the first time to enroll in the private school of their choice.

Student participation in the Louisiana Scholarship Program has grown from just 640 students in 2008 to more than 7,000 today. The program received more than 12,000 applications statewide for the current school year.

During the Louisiana Federation for Children’s “Advancing Louisiana’s Education Revolution” event, Jalen Robinson, a scholarship student at The Good Shepherd School in New Orleans, shared her story of how the Louisiana Scholarship Program changed her life.

Jalen was doing well in the public school system, until her family moved to a new school district. “Everything went downhill. I started failing in school.”

Then, Jalen’s mother heard about The Good Shepherd School and the Louisiana Scholarship Program.

Jalen attends The Good Shepherd School with her younger brother and sister. She says they are thriving. “Since coming to Good Shepherd I have grown as a person because I have been encouraged to believe in myself and believe in my ability to do the work that is required of me.”

Families in New Orleans and across Louisiana share Jalen’s enthusiasm for the Louisiana Scholarship Program. The 2015 Parental Satisfaction Surveyby the Louisiana Federation for Children and the Black Alliance for Educational Options showed 91.2 percent of parents are satisfied or very satisfied with their child’s scholarship school, and 91.6 percent are happy with their child’s academic performance.