2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 72%
Louisiana’s Tuition Donation Rebate Program is a tax-credit scholarship program enacted and launched in 2012. It is designed to encourage donors to contribute to scholarship organizations that help students from low-income households access the private learning options best suited to their needs.
This school voucher program was enacted in 2010 and began in 2011 to serve students with certain special needs. Louisiana’s School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities helps parents access the best schooling options for their children’s unique needs.
Individual Tax Credit/Deduction
Louisiana Elementary and Secondary School Tuition Deduction was enacted and launched in 2008. The individual tax deduction program is open to any taxpayer who has private schooling expenses.
The Louisiana Scholarship Program, which aims to serve low-income students in state designated C, D or F public schools. It was enacted and launched in 2008.
Charter Schools Score: 75%
Louisiana earns a C in the Center for Education Reform’s (CER) new charter school law rankings. Although charter schools have thrived in areas such as New Orleans, charters statewide are overregulated and state interference has prevented effective operators from opening schools. Further complicating the charter landscape is a lawsuit questioning the funding mechanism for charter schools.
Factors preventing Louisiana from receiving a higher score include the state’s limited number of independent authorizers, encroaching regulation, low funding levels, and approval and appeal processes that are subject to politics.
- Fast Facts:
- Law Passed in 1995
- Number of Charters: 151
- Estimated Charter School Enrollment: 84,400 (Up 5 percent from 2015-16)
- Louisiana does not cap the number of charter schools.
- Virtual Schools are permitted
- Charter Schools can Contract with either EMOs or CMOs for management purposes
- Louisiana earns 7 of 15 for “authorizering” because all charter schools in Louisiana are authorized by either their local school board or the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. While Louisiana does have multiple authorizers, these authorizers have grown increasingly regulatory, making it very difficult for new and innovative charter schools to thrive. There is no appeals process for charter schools authorized by the State Board, which limits the recourse of charter providers to question adverse decisions by the state Board.
- Louisiana earns 13 out of 15 for “growth.” The strength of this score derives from the lack of a cap. However, while the law allows certain schools to expand with limited regulation (type A and B schools), many (including every school in the recovery school district) do not have that ability to easily expand. These schools must apply to expand as if they were opening for the first time.
- Louisiana earns 10 of 20 points for “operations” because charter school autonomy varies according to the authorizer. Schools authorized by school districts are less autonomous than those authorized by the state. Despite this, charter schools have a blanket exemption from all state board rules and regulations applicable to public schools with certain exceptions, most notably accountability regulations. This limits the ability of charters to innovate.
- Louisiana earns 5 of 15 for “funding equity” because the amount of funding and how that funding is delivered varies by charter school type. All authorizers in the state can charge schools a two percent administrative fee. Additionally, while all charter schools are able to access start up loans for facilities funding, the state of Louisiana does not provide any per-pupil facilities funding.
Online Learning Score: 82%
Louisiana’s Virtual School dates back to 2000. Policy allows for multiple providers, but in practice access has been limited for students. Louisiana has begun their transition to digital learning and over the 2014-15 school year, schools will administer all of assessments and end-of-course tests online. To support school districts in the transition to technology-rich schools, the Louisiana Department of Education developed a technology footprint for each school district based on data provided by sixty-seven districts and charters from their responses to the Technology Readiness Tool.
Teacher Quality Score: 85%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers B-
Expanding the Pool of Teachers C+
Identifying Effective Teachers A
Retaining Effective Teachers B
Exiting Ineffective Teachers C