Voucher program preparing for new school year - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Voucher program preparing for new school year

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- The Louisiana Scholarship Program offers children of low-income families attending failing schools the opportunity to enroll in a parochial or private school free of charge. The application period for the third school year opened up on Monday. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton takes a look at the program from a Cenla perspective.

The Louisiana Scholarship Program is in it's second school year. St. Frances Cabrini School currently has students attending as a part of the voucher program.

"It gives these students that come on scholarship another chance. If they're in a school area where the school is not performing they get to be in a better school," says Anita Kerry, teacher and Assistant Principal at the Cabrini school.

But the program's success has been matched with continued controversy. The Department of Justice is attempting to require the state to provide them with information on every applicant before the student is awarded a scholarship.

Governor Bobby Jindal responded by saying that, "President Obama's Department of Justice is continuing its attempt to red-tape and regulate the Louisiana Scholarship Program to death."

Administrators at the Cabrini school disagree.

"I think that they can review all students as much as they want. I don't think they'll see any discrepancies in the way that they're treated or how the money is spent on behalf of that child's education," says Principal Joseph Wiederholt.

In the meantime the application period for the next school year is now open.

"I really think it does benefit those children in the public school system whose parents want them to receive a better education," adds Wiederholt.

Teachers and administrators say they hope to continue to change children's lives here in Cenla with the program.

"I believe that education is the key to a better life," adds Kerry.

If you'd like to fill out an application for your child for the Louisiana Scholarship Program visit: www.lascholarshipprogram.com

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