In late June, the Louisiana Federation for Children (LFC) released the remarkable findings from its annual Parental Satisfaction Survey regarding the Pelican State’s new school choice programs. The organization, which works in cooperation with the Black Alliance for Educational Opportunities (BAEO), found that families overwhelmingly support the initiative and find that their children are excelling because of it.
BAEO, which advocates for “parental choice on behalf of low-income and working-class black families,” and LFC surveyed more than 1,500 families participating in Louisiana’s school choice programs. They discovered that:
- 91.2 percent of parents are happy with their child’s scholarship school.
- 91.6 percent of parents believe that the program benefits their child academically.
- 99.1 percent of parents say their child feels safe in his/her scholarship school.
- 98.4 percent of parents say their children feel welcome at their child’s current scholarship school.
According to LFC, more than 13,000 Louisiana children applied for the state’s school choice program for the 2014-2015 school year alone. 7,632 students received scholarships to attend 131 schools in 47 school districts across Louisiana.
In 2008, a bipartisan group of legislators – led principally by conservatives and African American reformers – established the Louisiana Scholarship Program. Since its inception, thousands of children have been saved from failing public schools and, instead, enrolled in thriving educational institutions. The scholarship opportunity is available strictly for low-income families, and 89 percent of participants are minorities.