POSTED: Friday, June 1, 2012 - 2:00am
UPDATED: Friday, June 1, 2012 - 2:04am
Baton Rouge, La — Last week the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) announced the list of more than 120 participating schools in 33 parishes that have applied for and initially been approved to participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program. Today education officials sent communications to participating schools describing the second phase of the program's enrollment process, which will extend until the time students are offered scholarships to enroll in a specific school. By this point, in mid-July, the number of scholarship students assigned to each school will be final.
"Schools statewide have stepped up because they believe in our children," State Superintendent of Education John White said. "Now that schools have been approved to participate, we will start the process of finalizing how many scholarship students each school will receive.
Prior to approving schools to participate in the program, Department of Education staff interviewed eligible schools to determine their compliance with provisions in the scholarship law. The second phase is intended to finalize the number of students to be assigned to each school. It will include further due diligence conversations, public consideration of "criteria for participation" required in the law, and an analysis of how many families expressed a preference for each school, by grade level. After these steps have been taken, final scholarship assignments will be made.
The chart below details each element of the second phase, broken down over the course of the next seven weeks.
Week of Element of Phase Two Next Step
May 22 - Families begin applying to the Department of Education by dropping off applications at participating schools. Schools and Department of Education will make application available.
June 4 - Schools will attend a webinar for training on next steps in the enrollment process. School will attend a webinar on June 4th at 4 pm or June 5th at 11 am (information sent in a separate email).
June 11 - Further conversations between the Department of Education and schools to finalize and/or refine the enrollment projection. Department staff will contact larger program participants to schedule conversations.
June 18 - BESE will receive and consider "criteria for [scholarship school] participation, including a student accountability system" proposed by the Department.
June 25 - Final applications from students will be received this week. Schools should enter final applicants.
July 2 - The Department of Education will verify applicant numbers with schools, including verifying the feasibility of opening student sections (homerooms) in the event of low applicant numbers. Department will contact schools directly.
July 9 - Verifying applicant numbers will continue.
July 16 The Department will make final offers to students and will report final offers to each school publicly. Schools will begin verifying enrollment with families assigned to the school.
Also, next week the agency will be launching a weekly email newsletter to provide participating schools with important information, as the process continues.
Applications are available online at http://www.louisianaschools.net/topics/scholarships_for_excellence.html  or www.LAK12SP.com  and on-site at any participating school. Students must submit completed applications no later than Friday, June 29, to the participating school they want to attend.