Posted: Sep 13, 2012 3:28 PM by Russell Jones
Updated: Sep 13, 2012 3:28 PM
Source: La. Department of Education
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana education officials released final numbers today for the new statewide voucher program, saying nearly 5,000 students received scholarships.
The state approved 4,944 scholarships for students in low-performing schools to pay for them to enroll in non-public schools. Nearly twice that many students, 10,400, applied to take part in the program.
State education officials said 86 percent of students who received scholarships were African-American, and 79 percent went to students in elementary school.
Education officials said that was much higher than other states with similar programs: Ohio had an estimated 3,000 students in the first year of their voucher program, and Indiana saw 3,900 students.
State Superintendent of Education John White said the scholarships saved taxpayers $18 million, because the scholarships cost less than what the state would pay public schools per student. White said the average scholarship cost the state $5,300 while the cost per pupil at public schools is $8,500.
All students who received a scholarship were in families with incomes below 250 percent of the Federal poverty guideline, which is about $57,000 for a family of four.