ON-Lion Letter
In an important step for New Orleans families, Louisiana's new Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program is off to a strong start.  Given tight sign-up times for students and schools, the program is significantly outpacing expectations for school participation, student enrollment, and interest among families, community leaders announced in mid-November. 

On the first day that parents could apply for scholarships, approximately 700 waited in line for the doors to open at the registration site and more than 2,000 attended information sessions, according to the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO).  As a result of this strong demand, over 600 families are already taking part in the program, which provides state scholarships so that low-income families can move their children out of failing public schools and into private schools.

Upon enactment of the new law, the Louisiana Department of Education had to develop rules and implement the program, leaving little time for a broad-based outreach campaign to schools and families.  Community leaders had one week to register schools to participate in the program, and one week to enroll interested parents. 

Despite the time constraints, 53 private schools applied and were approved to participate.  Moreover, 1,295 student applications were processed, with 1,143 students deemed eligible to participate.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports BAEO projects.
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