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 2018-2019 school year. On the final day of the Legislature’s third special session, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers passed legislation that will provide $41.9 million to fund Louisiana’s private school choice program.
Statement from Ann Duplessis, President of the Louisiana Federation for Children and Board Member of the American Federation for Children:
“The Louisiana Scholarship Program provides thousands of Louisiana schoolchildren access to a high-quality education in a safe and secure learning environment. 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 9,000 applications from parents for the 2017-2018 school year. 6,909 students were awarded a scholarship to attend 122 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.
Strong Louisiana Scholarship Program accountability guidelines have resulted in program-wide student achievement gains, with more participating schools meeting performance expectations.
A 2017 study by the School Choice Demonstration Project at the University of Arkansas and the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans at Tulane University found the longer students are enrolled in the Louisiana Scholarship Program, the better they perform.
LFC’s annual Parental Satisfaction Survey found an overwhelming majority of parents approve of academic gains and support the Louisiana Scholarship Program. More than 93 percent of parents surveyed said they were satisfied with every aspect of the Louisiana Scholarship Program.
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.
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.