TODAY: Enrollment Begins for New Orleans Scholarship Program, 8AM

Mar 15, 2011, 07:30 ET from Louisiana BAEO

Sign-Up Will Be Held at Lindy Boggs Conference Center

NEW ORLEANS, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1,000 New Orleans children are eligible to receive state-funded scholarships to attend private schools next school year (2011-2012). Enrollment for the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program (SSEE) will begins at 8am today. Officials with the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options (Louisiana BAEO) expect high demand for the scholarships, with hundreds of parents expected to apply during the five-day application period.

The program, which provides an educational lifeline to low-income children who otherwise would be forced to attend failing public schools, has been enormously successful. The 2011-2012 school year will be the fourth year of operation for the highly popular SSEE program. 

Students in Kindergarten through fifth grade who attend one of nine academically unacceptable public schools are eligible to receive scholarships to attend any of 39 participating private schools. Children entering Kindergarten for the first time are also eligible to participate.

Parents can apply to enroll their children in the scholarship program at the Lindy Boggs Conference Center beginning today, Tuesday, March 15, 2011 to Saturday, March 19, 2011. Doors open at 8am on Tuesday.

To qualify for the program, a family must reside in Orleans Parish. In addition, the student's household income cannot exceed 250 percent of the 2011 federal poverty guideline ($46,325 for a family of three, $55,875 for a family of four, $65,425 for a family of five, and $74,985 for a family of six). The SSEE program offers state-funded scholarships of up to $7,562.

"We encourage all parents who want to give their children the gift of a brighter future to seriously consider this program and to apply as early in the week as possible," said Shree' Medlock, state director of the Louisiana BAEO. "This program has a parental satisfaction rate of 93 percent, and we're confident that there will be significant demand for scholarships this year."

The SSEE program, which was enacted with strong bipartisan support in 2008, provides scholarships for 1,697 children to attend 33 private schools this year.

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