Scholarship Program Participation

Louisiana Scholarship Program

The Louisiana Scholarship Program empowers low-income families to access the same opportunities that more affluent parents already have by providing them with the financial resources to send their children to the schools of their choice.

Launched in 2008 in New Orleans, the Louisiana Scholarship Program, formally known as the Student Scholarships for Education Excellence Program, was expended statewide in 2012.  For the 2016-2017 school year, more than 11,000 students applied for a scholarship and nearly 6,900 enrolled in a scholarship-funded seat in a nonpublic school.  123 non-public schools – nearly one-third of eligible schools – are participating in the program in 2016-2017.

To be eligible to participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program, nonpublic schools must be both BESE approved and Brumfield v. Dodd compliant.  BESE approval confirms that schools utilize a curriculum of quality at least equal that prescribed for similar public schools.  Brumfield v. Dodd compliance confirms that BESE-approved nonpublic schools do not use racially discriminatory policies and practices.

Public schools with a letter grade of A or B in the most recent school year and approval by the local superintendent are also eligible to participate.

More information about participation requirements can be found in the Scholarship Program Participation Guide.

Scholarship students must take the same assessments as students in public schools.  Student achievement on these assessments is used to determine the status of a school’s continued participation in the program.

School Choice Program for Students with Exceptionalities

The School Choice Program enables students with exceptionalities to attend schools that can meet their unique needs.  The program provides tuition assistance of up to 50% of the state per pupil funding for the student’s school district.

To be eligible to participate in the program, a non-public school must be both BESE approved and Brumfield v. Dodd compliant.  In addition, eligible schools must be located in a parish with a recent census population greater than 190,000 residents and must be prepared to serve students with exceptionalities, as demonstrated by a history of serving students with exceptionalities over the past two years and teachers on staff who have appropriate certificates in special education.

All schools wishing to participate must submit a Notice of Intent form.  More information about participation requirements can be found in the School Choice Program FAQ.

For any questions about either scholarship program, contact nonpublicschools@la.gov.