Louisiana Voucher Programs

Louisiana Voucher Programs

March 2017

Louisiana has two voucher programs.

Program Information
State Louisiana
Program name Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence
Student eligibility requirements Eligible students must have a household income of 250 percent or less of federal poverty guidelines, plus meet at least one of the following eligibility requirements:
  • Entering kindergarten and enrolled in a school within the Recovery School District.
  • Was enrolled in a low-performing school - receiving a C, D, or F grade in the most recent school year - during the previous school year.
  • Received a voucher in the previous school year.
Students may attend a private school or a public school meeting certain program requirements.
Previous public school attendance requirement Must be entering and enrolled in a kindergarten in a school within a Recovery School District, have attended a low-performing school in the previous school year, or received a voucher in the previous school year.
Enrollment limits No. However, participating schools notify the Department of Education about space availability. The Department of Education will conduct a random selection process for eligible students if there are more applications than space available at participating schools, giving preference first to former voucher recipients and then students who would be attending a school with a letter grade of D or F. The department may also give preference to other student groups, such as siblings of enrolled students. 
Voucher amount The state's per-pupil amount or the amount of tuition and fees, whichever is less.

Private schools with a demonstrated capacity for offering needed special education services may charge higher tuition for students needing those services, up to the cost of providing those services in a public school. 
Testing requirement State assessments required by the accountability system. 
Private school participation standards
  • Be approved as a private school by the State Board. 
  • Schools may not require additional student eligibility criteria beyond those outlined in state policy.
  • Voucher student enrollment at private schools open for two years or less must be 20 percent or less of student enrollment.
  • Voucher students at participating schools are included in an accountability system created by the Department of Education for participating students at participating schools.
  • Provide financial audits to the Department of Education.
  • Schools may give enrollment preference to students in certain parishes. 
  • Private schools are only required to offer special education services to participating students needing those services if the school already provides them and has done so with appropriately credentialed teachers for at least two years prior. Private schools may partner with a local school system to provide special education services.
  • Participating public schools must have received a letter grade of A or B in the most recent school year.
Program Information
State Louisiana
Program name School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities
Student eligibility requirements Students have a qualifying disability and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a service plan created by the private school the student will attend that clearly identifies what services will be provided and how they meet the student's needs. This voucher program is only for students living in a parish with population of 190,000 or more.
Previous public school attendance requirement No
Enrollment limits No
Voucher amount Equivalent to 50 percent of the state's per-pupil amount or the amount of tuition, whichever is less.
Testing requirement None
Private school participation standards
  • Must have been open and providing educational services to students with defined disabilities for at least two years prior to participating in the program.
  • Teachers must have appropriate special education certification or training.
  • Schools have discretion in enrolling eligible students. Specifically, schools may decide the types of qualifying disabilities the school is willing to serve,  the numbers of students it will accept in a school year, and established enrollment criteria. 

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