LOUISIANA STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM RECEIVES MORE THAN 10,300 APPLICATIONS

Jul 11, 2012

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Department of Education announced today that the state has received more than 10,300 student applications for the Louisiana Scholarship Program. Also today, per Act 2 of the Legislature, signed into law in April, State Superintendent of Education John White released the "criteria for participation" in the Louisiana Scholarship Program, ensuring appropriate enrollment growth and financial oversight of participating schools. Act 2 expanded the scholarship program statewide and is a key component of Louisiana Believes, the state’s comprehensive plan to empower educators and parents to make the best choices for children.

"It is exciting to see so many parents choosing the best educational options for their children, and we need to do everything we can to honor their choice," said White. "The criteria for school participation will assure taxpayers and families that children will be well-served and that the public trust will be respected."  

The criteria for nonpublic school participation incorporate extensive feedback from educators, policymakers, and members of the community. The criteria focus on key areas including enrollment, financial practice, student mobility, and the health, safety and welfare of students. At its June meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education created rules regarding growth of tuition for schools receiving scholarship funds. The Department will also produce an accountability system based on student achievement by August 1, per the new law.

"We are thrilled with the number of applications we have received for the scholarship program and the exciting potential this has for the future of Louisiana’s students," Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Penny Dastugue said.

Based on the released criteria and the received applications, the Department of Education will continue working with schools to finalize enrollment targets. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of seats available at a specific school and grade level, then those scholarship seats will be awarded through a prioritized lottery process the week of July 16th. Following the lottery, the Department will provide each school with a list of students who have been matched to that particular school and will notify students of the status of their scholarship award. Students not placed at their top school will be then either be placed at their second choice or will participate in a lottery for that school.

"The number of applications submitted is a clear indication that parents are anxious to give their children access to new opportunities," said Eric Lewis, Louisiana State Director for the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO).

"After years of seeing my grandkids struggle through school I’m happy to have the opportunity to place my granddaughter in a school that will be more attentive to her specific needs," said Sarah Ann Lee, a grandmother in Baker, La.

For more information about the Louisiana Scholarship Program, please visit http://www.louisianaschools.net/topics/scholarships_for_excellence.html, email Studentscholarships@la.gov,or call the Louisiana Department of Education’s Help Center at 1-877-453-2721.

 

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