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Voucher program enrollment drops slightly in Louisiana this year, with 250 fewer students


BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Enrollment in Louisiana's taxpayer-funded voucher program has dipped a bit this year.

The latest data from the state education department, released Sunday, shows 7,110 students are receiving vouchers from the Louisiana Scholarship Program for the current 2015-16 school year, attending 119 private and parochial schools.

That's 252 students fewer than last year, when 7,362 were in the program.

The statewide program began in 2012. It allows students from low- to moderate-income families to apply for government-paid tuition if they would otherwise be assigned to a poorly performing public school — one earning a C, D or an F in state performance rankings.

More than $42 million is allocated for the program this school year in the state's budget.

Meanwhile, a separate voucher program for special needs students in Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes has grown to 342 students, up from 311 students a year earlier.

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