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.
A count of how many Louisiana students are enrolled in private and parochial schools through the taxpayer-funded voucher program will be available next week.
Barry Landry, a spokesman for the Department of Education, says schools participating in the program have until Sunday to report their enrollment numbers of voucher students. Landry says the department will release the figures after the numbers are verified.
A parochial school parent recently asked me if it’s too late to transfer their child to a voucher school. After going through the labyrinth of enrollment rules, I asked, “Why do you want to transfer?” The parent replied, “I don’t know if my daughter is learning.”
Louisiana didn’t become 41st in the nation on average ACT score because of public school performance alone. Public schools can’t take all the blame for why Louisiana keeps looking up at its peers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Particularly in New Orleans, where 30 percent of the students attend private and parochial schools, the quality of this sector is critical to our city’s vitality.
Taxpayer dollars in Louisiana's new voucher program will be paying to send children to schools that teach creationism and question evolution, challenging the lessons central to public school science classrooms.
Several religious schools that will be educating taxpayer-subsidized students tout their creationist views. Some schools question whether the universe is more than a few thousand years old, openly defying reams of scientific evidence to the contrary.
A state appeals court has upheld a decision that allows Gov. Bobby Jindal's statewide voucher program to begin in August.
Teacher unions and local school boards sought to block the start of the program as they challenge its constitutionality.
But in a 2-1 decision, a three-judge appellate court panel agreed with a lower court judge that an injunction couldn't be issued, citing a law that bars injunctions if a state agency chief says it would cause a deficit.
Louisiana's top education board has backed accountability standards suggested by Superintendent of Education John White for the private schools that will get taxpayer-subsidized students through the voucher program.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 9-2 Tuesday for the criteria.
The attorney general's office will pay up to $50,000 to Gov. Bobby Jindal's former executive counsel to defend the governor's signature education revamp in court.
Amanda Larkins, spokeswoman for Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, said Tuesday that the contract with lawyer Jimmy Faircloth hasn't been completed. But she described its terms, saying Faircloth is being paid $195 an hour, with a cap of $50,000.
Larkins said the contract runs through the current budget year, which will end June 30.
An Oct. 15 date has been set for arguments in a lawsuit by teacher unions and local school boards challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Bobby Jindal's statewide voucher program.
Judge Tim Kelley chose the hearing date Tuesday in a meeting with lawyers for both sides in the case.
Attorneys for two statewide teacher unions and dozens of local school boards say the voucher program that will use tax dollars to send children to private schools and other new education funding plans are unconstitutional.
A nonpartisan government watchdog group is asking Superintendent of Education John White to seek legislative guidance as he designs the accountability standards required of schools participating in Louisiana's new voucher program.
The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana sent a letter Tuesday to White, urging him to present his draft accountability policies to the House and Senate education committees for the program that will use tax dollars to send students to private schools.