State education officials say more than 4,900 students from poorly performing public schools have taken advantage of the state's newly expanded voucher program, which uses government money to pay private school tuition.
The figure was released Thursday. The state said 14 percent of students using vouchers came from public schools that earned a C in the state's school accountability program; most — 69 percent — were from schools that made a D; 17 percent were from schools considered failing.
The program is open to students from families with incomes under 250 percent of the federal poverty level — estimated at $57,000 a year for a family of four. To qualify, those students must come from a public school with a state accountability grade of C, D or F.