Nonpublic Schools

In Louisiana, tens of thousands of students – 14% of all Louisiana students – are enrolled in private schools. 

All private schools must be registered or approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

To register, schools must submit an annual form to the Louisiana Department of Education, which is used to confirm compliance with state attendance laws.

To become confirmed eligible by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, schools must offer an education comparable to the quality of public schools. Graduates from confirmed eligible private schools are eligible for TOPS, a state-funded college scholarship program. Schools seeking eligibility confirmation must complete the Nonpublic School Eligibility Confirmation process.  Please see the Nonpublic School Eligibility Confirmation Webinar for more information. Once confirmed eligible, nonpublic schools must also submit an annual report in the fall of each year

Private schools may also be eligible for state funding and support. This state funding includes transportation support, $27 per student for textbooks, and the opportunity to participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program, which provides state-funded scholarships to students in low income families in low performing public schools.

To become eligible for state funding, schools must be approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and also comply with Brumfield vs. Dodd, a federal court order that prohibits discrimination.

Louisiana has 376 approved private schools. 125 of those private schools are participating in the Louisiana Scholarship program.

Nonpublic schools not wishing to seek approval from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education must annually register their nonpublic school.


The LDE will be conducting a supplemental nonpublic school approval process for new schools wishing to become BESE-approved for the first time for the 2014-15 school year.  Please contact Diana.Noble@la.gov if you are a school that would like to seek nonpublic school approval for the first time. All documentation is due April 30th, 2014.