When Louisiana’s voucher plan begins in September, the Upperroom Bible Church Academy in New Orleans plans to enroll an additional 214 voucher students. The addition of these students will add $1.8 million in taxpayer dollars to the school’s coffers.
Upperroom Bible Church Academy is already a voucher-receiving school. New Orleans has had a small voucher program since Hurricane Katrina (about 1800 students). Because the school is already getting public funding, its students take the state tests (called LEAP). Last year, only 21% of its students in grade 3, 4 and 5 scored above basic on state tests of reading and math. Some parents left comments about the school on this site (and be aware that this site is unmonitored and thus the comments are not necessarily accurate).
Among the state’s voucher and charter schools, it was third to last on the state LEAP rankings. This raises the possibility that children may be “escaping” from a low-performing public school to an even lower-performing voucher school.
That link demonstrates that most charter and voucher schools perform well below the state average in a low-performing state. If you are looking for a miracle, you won’t find it here. Nor will you find evidence that the Jindal administration is raising standards or expanding opportunities for students in Louisiana to get a better education.