1-877 BLACKPR (252-2577)
For Immediate Release
March 12, 2010
Contact Information

Representing Louisiana BAEO
Andrew Campanella
800-750-6510 ext. 3
andrew@ccgstrategies.com

(BPRW) Thousands of NOLA Children Eligible for School Vouchers Next School Year; Program Enrollment Starts Tuesday

Scholarships Provide Choices to Parents, Better Opportunities for Children.

(BLACK PR WIRE) ( March 12, 2010) NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Thousands of New Orleans children from failing public schools are eligible to receive school vouchers to attend private schools next fall, according to the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options (Louisiana BAEO). Enrollment in the state-sponsored Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program which provides school vouchers to children in grades K-5 who attend failing New Orleans public schools opens on Tuesday, March 16, 2010, and closes on Saturday, March 20, 2010.

The program, which was authored by State Sen. Ann Duplessis (D-New Orleans) and State Rep. Austin Badon (D-New Orleans), passed by the Louisiana legislature with bipartisan support, and was signed into law in 2008 by Governor Bobby Jindal, is designed to provide New Orleans families with greater educational choices. During the current school year, 1,195 children received vouchers to attend private schools through the program.

"This successful program is an educational lifeline to parents and children in New Orleans," said Shree Medlock, director of Louisiana BAEO. "We anticipate several hundred additional applications this year as parents continue to learn more about how they can send their children to better schools using scholarships."
The scholarships are worth up to $7,444 per year, and there are currently 34 private schools that are authorized to accept students into the program. Once a student receives a scholarship, he or she can renew that scholarship as long as the student continues to meet income and residency requirements.

To be eligible to receive the vouchers, students must reside in Orleans Parish, be a member of a family with a total income that does not exceed 250 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines ($55,125 for a family of four), be entering grades K-5, and have been enrolled in a failing public school during the 2009-10 school year (this does not apply to students entering kindergarten).
Parents can apply in person at the Gideon Christian Fellowship (3401 Elysian Fields Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70122) on:
• Tuesday, March 16 (8 am-7 pm)
• Wednesday, March 17 (8 am-4 pm)
• Thursday, March 18 (8 am-7 pm)
• Friday, March 19 (8 am-4 pm)
• Saturday, March 20 (8am-1pm)
For more information, visit www.louisiana.baeo.org.