Baton Rouge, LA — The Department of Education today released the 2014-2015 Louisiana Scholarship Program student application. The Louisiana Scholarship Program provides low-income families with the financial resources to choose a school that will prepare their child for a lifetime of success. The Scholarship Program is a core component of Louisiana Believes, the Department’s comprehensive plan to ensure every student is on track to a college degree or a professional career.
Student applications can be found online or at any participating school. While the list of participating schools will not be final until after all applications are received and scholarships are awarded, the Department has determined that 136 schools are eligible to participate in the program for the 2014-15 school year. Of the 136 eligible schools, 114 schools are accepting new applications. The deadline for the first round of student applications is February 28.
Current participating schools = 126
Current participating schools restricted to only serving continuing students = 8
New school applicants = 14
New school applicants deemed ineligible after site visits = 4
Participating schools not requesting new seats = 14
Schools listed as accepting new students on the 2014-15 student application = 114
“Every parent in Louisiana, no matter income level, should have the right to choose the school they think is best for their child,” said State Superintendent John White. “This is true for traditional public, charter public, and nonpublic schools. Each school is accountable for producing results, and parents get to choose which one is best for their children.”
Schools seeking to participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program began the application process in November. Since then, the Department has applied the school eligibility requirements, reviewing the schools’ accreditation status, Brumfield v. Dodd compliance, and BESE-established criteria for participation. As part of this process, the Department conducted site visits to all schools seeking to participate in the scholarship program for the first time.
To be eligible for the program for the 2014-15 school year, a student must be enrolled in a C, D, or F rated public school for the 2013-14 school year or entering kindergarten for the first time. Students must also be residents of Louisiana and meet income eligibility requirements (household income cannot exceed 250 percent of the federal poverty guidelines). Continuing scholarship students are automatically eligible to participate and only need to submit an application if they wish to transfer to a new scholarship school.
Scholarship students take the same state tests as public school students, and the Department publicly reports test results for each school as with public schools. Student achievement on these assessments is used to determine the status of a school’s continued participation in the program. Since the program began in 2008, 3rd grade iLEAP ELA scores of students in the program have increased by 20 percentage points and math scores have increased by 28 percentage points and parent satisfaction continues to be over 90 percent.
Nearly 12,000 students applied to participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program last year, and approximately 6,700 students are currently enrolled in 126 participating schools. Over the coming months, the Department will work with participating schools to finalize seat allotments and attempt to match applicants with the school of their choice. If the number of applicants for a particular school exceeds the available seats, the Department will award scholarships through a lottery process. The Department will notify all applicants of the status of their application no later than the week of April 7.
For more information on the Louisiana Scholarship Program, please click here.