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Many public schools say "no" to accepting vouchers

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BATON ROUGE - News 2 did not find a single public school system in the Baton Rouge area that definitely planned to accept students taking part in Governor Jindal's voucher program.

The statewide scholarship program would let qualified students in failing schools get vouchers to help them attend non-public or higher-performing public schools.  Schools have to apply with the state before they can accept students on vouchers.

West Baton Rouge schools cited a capacity issue as a reason for their "no" to vouchers.  Central and Zachary schools said money and a lack of room is the reason they won't accept students from other areas.  Livingston Parish is also a "no," citing a lack of room for new students as well.

West Feliciana Schools told News 2 they had too many questions about the voucher program to jump on board this year, but did not rule out joining in the future.

East Feliciana Schools and Iberville Parish Schools could not accept students, even if they wanted to.  Neither parish has a public school that has an "A" or "B" grade required for the student transfer.

Some parish-wide school systems with "A" or "B" schools that could accept students are still not decided about the voucher system.  East Baton Rouge Parish and Ascension Parish schools both still classify themselves as a "maybe" when it comes to accepting students from failing schools.

Magnet schools can decide individually if they will participate.  Catholic schools in the Diocese of Baton Rouge have not decided whether to participate.

Each school or school system has until May18 to decide if they will participate in the program or not.


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