A SUMMARY OF
HOW HAS THE LOUISIANA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AFFECTED STUDENTS?:A COMPREHENSIVE SUMMARY OF EFFECTS AFTER Three YEARS (June 2017)
The Louisiana Scholarship Program began as a small pilot program in 2008 and was expanded statewide in 2012. In 2015-16, 7110 students received vouchers.
To be eligible for a voucher, students must have a family income of 250% of the federal poverty line or below and either be entering kindergarten or coming from a public school that was awarded a C,D, or F grade.
In 2015-16, the average voucher was worth $2,264.
Private schools participating in the program must administer the state LEAP and iLEAP tests to their voucher students in grades 3-8 and 10.
Overall, after three years, vouchers have no statistically significant impact on students' test scores in English Language Arts (ELA) or math.
The voucher program had a negative impact on students’ academic achievement in its first two years, but the negative impact dissipated by the third year. Students using vouchers end up on par with students not using vouchers.
However, negative results persisted for students in math in lower elementary grades.
The voucher program does not provide the same services to students with disabilities.
Students with disabilities were more likely to be de-identified as requiring special education services if they participated in the private school choice program.
The majority of participating voucher schools are religious.
The private schools that chose to participate in the voucher program were disproportionately Catholic, had low tuitions, had low enrollments, and served a high percentage of minority students.