Hundreds of city parents seek scholarships on first day of sign-up
NEW ORLEANS, March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 300 New Orleans parents lined up this morning to sign up for the highly-demanded New Orleans voucher program, which has provided an educational lifeline to children who otherwise would be forced to attend failing public schools.
Thousands of parents are expected to apply to participate in the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence (SSEE) Program for the 2012-2013 school year, which will be the fifth year of operation for the popular program. The sign-up period comes as legislators prepare to consider proposed legislation by Governor Jindal aiming to expand the current program statewide.
"This program has been a blessing for my family—it's shown my son that he can be anything he wants to be," said Heather Powell. "Anyone who is given a chance to be a part of this program will see a world of change in their child's life."
Students currently in grades K-6 who attend one of 15 academically unacceptable public schools are eligible to apply for scholarships to attend a participating private school. Children entering kindergarten are also eligible.
Parents can apply for the program at the University of New Orleans Lindy C. Boggs International Conference Center today, as well as tomorrow, March 10, Monday, March 12, and Tuesday, March 13, from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Qualifying families must reside in Orleans Parish and have a household income not exceeding 250 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($47,725 for a family of three, $57,625 for a family of four, $67,525 for a family of five, and $77,425 for a family of six).
"The demand we have seen today proves that parents want a choice in their child's education," said the Louisiana Federation for Children's Lauren Perry. "We urge the legislature to seize the opportunity to make the program available statewide."
Enacted with strong bipartisan support in 2008, the SSEE program provides scholarships to more than 1,800 children to attend the private school of their parents' choice. According to a December 2011 survey conducted by the Black Alliance for Educational Options, the program boasts a 93 percent satisfaction rate.
For more information about the sign-up, visit www.neworleansscholarship.com.
LFC is a project of the American Federation for Children. For more information, visit www.Louisiana4Children.org.
SOURCE Louisiana Federation for Children