Tuesday marked the first day of applications for Louisiana's school voucher program, which allows lower-income students to attend private or parochial schools, with their tuition financed with tax revenue. The bill was signed by Governor Bobby Jindal earlier this year, prompting statewide debate.
Now three Northwest Louisiana schools say they've decided to accept voucher students. Shreveport's Evangel Christian Academy will admit 80 this fall. St. Joseph's School and Dreamkeepers Academy have both signed up to take 4 students. Albert Dean, principal of Evangel, said the school's administrators see the program as an opportunity to fulfill its mission. "We don't have any bias going in about the students that will come to us. We think they're coming from families who really care about their children's education, so we believe we're going to be successful," he said.
To be eligible, students must be Louisiana residents whose household income does not exceed 250% of the poverty level. They must also currently be enrolled in schools that are graded "C" or below by the Louisiana Department of Education.
Applications are due by June 29th. If the number of applicants exceeds the available spots, LDOE will hold a statewide, prioritized lottery drawing. Students will find out in July if they have been accepted.
To download the paperwork, click on the link. http://www.doe.state.la.us/lde/uploads/19693.pdf