La. accepting voucher applications

The ranks of schools that accept voucher students are up but not all will be accepting new students, the state Department of Education announced Monday.

The state will have 136 schools during the next school year that accept voucher students, up 8 percent from this school year, according to a statement.

However, only 114 will accept new students for various reasons, including academic or financial sanctions or decisions by school officials not to expand.

Vouchers are state aid for students who meet income rules to attend private schools.

The students have to be attending public schools rated C, D or F to be eligible, or entering kindergarten for the first time.

The initial deadline for the 2014-15 school year is Feb. 28, according to a news release from the state Department of Education. The application is available on the education department’s website.

Students and parents are set to be notified during the week of April 7.

The state has 126 schools used by about 6,700 students relying on vouchers.

Officials of 14 schools said they wanted to join the program and 10 were approved by the state.

They include St. Aloysius School in Baton Rouge, St. Theresa Middle School and St. John Primary, Ascension Parish; St. Augustine High School, New Orleans; and Waldorf School, New Orleans.

Eight schools who participated in the program are prohibited from accepting new students and 14 chose not to do so.