Nearly 5,000 Students In Voucher Program - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Nearly 5,000 Students In Voucher Program

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BATON ROUGE, La. —About 5,000 students accepted the Louisiana's statewide voucher program, which supporters say is one of the largest single-year enrollment increases in the history of voucher programs nationwide.
 
The American Federation for Children—the nation's voice for school choice—praised the enrollment figures, which were released Thursday by the state Department of Education, as a victory for Louisiana students and parents.  In total, 4,944 students are participating in the program in the 2012-13 school year at 118 schools across the state.

Supporters say that's more than twice the number of students who were enrolled in the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence (SSEE) program last year, when the program only served students who attended failing schools in New Orleans.

"These figures are great news for parents, students, and everyone across Louisiana who is committed to giving families access to the full slate of educational options," said Kevin P. Chavous, senior advisor to the federation. 

More than 10,300 students applied for the vouchers this year. During the 2011-12 school year, more than 1,800 students received the vouchers for the program in New Orleans. A total of 86 percent of this year's program participants are African American, according to the state Department of Education.

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