Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Public Schools Take Part in Helping Voucher Students

In the 2012-13 school year, hundreds of thousands of Louisiana families will have real educational options thanks to the statewide expansion of the program that Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law in April.    Students from low-income families that attend schools rated “C,” “D,” or “F” will be able to attend the school of their parents’ choice. 

The expanded voucher program, known as the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program, is about providing real educational options to families, since no student should be stuck in a chronically poor-performing school.

But the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence is not just about private schools; it’s about going to great schools—public or private.

The Advocate reported that the Zachary Community School District—an A-rated district—will participate in the expanded program, providing 30 spots to voucher students.   In fact, Zachary is not only an A-rated district, it’s also the top performing district in the state for seven consecutive years.

Superintendent Warren Drake says the District will accept 15 kindergarten students at Northwestern Elementary School and 15 first graders at Rollins Place Elementary School.

Currently, the school district serves 4,925 students, of which 44.9 percent are identified as minority students and 12.9 percent live in poverty.

On why the school district plans on participating in the program, Michelle Clayton, curriculum and instruction director said that Zachary has the “staff and resources to make a difference for these kids.”

And this is not the first time that Zachary has helped students outside their zip codes.  After Hurricane Katrina, the school district took in 300 students. 

After all, voucher programs and the school choice movement is about providing a quality education to students at public and private schools.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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