Applications for voucher program now being taken - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Applications for voucher program now being taken

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BATON ROUGE, La. —The Louisiana Federation for Children (LFC), the state's voice for educational choice, today announced the opening of the application period to participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program.

Beginning today, students from across the state are able to apply to participate in the program, which allows low-income families with students enrolled in C, D or F-rated schools to transfer to the participating private school of their choice. Students entering kindergarten for the first time may also apply.

"The scholarship program empowers parents, especially those who lack financial means, to obtain quality education options for their child," said Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children. "The scholarship program already serves as a lifeline to thousands of students across the state – allowing them to leave failing and underperforming schools and attend a school of their parents' choice."

Families may apply online or in person at the participating school of their choice now through Feb. 28, and award letters will be mailed by the Louisiana Department of Education the week of April 7.

Across the state, 136 schools in 36 parishes are deemed eligible to participate for the 2014-15 school year. More than 6,700 students are already enrolled in the scholarship program, with participation from 126 schools in 34 parishes.

Louisiana's Scholarship Program boasts the strongest accountability measures of any similar program in the nation, ensuring students in the program receive a quality education. Recent statistics show the longer students participate in the program, the higher their test scores.

The Louisiana Scholarship Program was expanded by a bipartisan group of legislators in the spring of 2012; prior to that, the program served students in Orleans Parish. In June 2013, both Democratic and Republican Legislators joined together to fully fund the program, which saved the state nearly $16 million in 2012.

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