Louisiana

School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

Yes-

A Type 4 school does not have to be organized as a nonprofit. A non-profit can enter into a contract with a for-profit to help manage the charter.

RS 17:3991.A.(1)(a): Charter schools; requirements; limitations; renewal; amendment; revocation; board membership
RS 17:3997.A.(1)(b): Charter school employees

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

Unclear-

Statute does not require that charter schools provide transportation. However, all BESE-authorized charter schools must offer free daily transportation to and from school to any student meeting both of the following conditions:

1. the student resides more than one mile from the school where the student is enrolled;
2. the student resides within the parish or local school district in which the school is physically located.

RS 17:3991
RS 17:3995
Louisiana Charter School Board Legal Handbook (pg. 56)
LA Admin. Code: Title 28:CXXXIX, Bulletin 126 Charter Schools: §2801. Transportation Requirements for BESE-Authorized Charter Schools

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

Yes-

Instructional staff need to have at least a baccalaureate degree, but do not need a certification.

RS 17:3991.C.(6): Charter schools; requirements; limitations; renewal; amendment; revocation; board membership

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Yes-

Yes, Louisiana statutes allow for virtual schools and virtual charter schools

RS 17:236.3. Virtual School; definition
RS 17:4002.3.(1) Definitions

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Yes-

"Each city, parish, or other local public school board may adopt a policy that defines attendance at a virtual school for purposes of compliance with R.S. 17:233."

R.S. 17:233 requires schools to track attendance and report students who are habitually absent or tardy to the family or juvenile court of the parish or city as a truant child.

RS 17:236.3
RS 17:233

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Unclear-

The state board shall create and maintain a reciprocal teacher certification process for teachers who reside in other states but who are employed by authorized course providers and teach virtual education courses to satisfy the state certification requirements pursuant to R.S. 17:7.1.

RS 17: 4002.4.(C): State board; powers and duties relative to course providers

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

Yes-

Louisiana statute allows for two types of voucher programs: the Louisiana Scholarship Program and the School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities.

RS 17:4031: School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities
RS 17:4011 through 4025: Louisiana Scholarship Program

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

Yes-

Louisiana statute allows for a tuition tax deduction (Louisiana Elementary and Secondary School Tuition Deduction).

RS 47:293(9)(a)(xiv) and 297.10: Tuition tax deduction

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Unclear-

Louisiana Scholarship Program: Unclear. School eligibility does not explicitly state religious schools cannot participate.

The School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities: Unclear. Statute does not explicitly state religious schools cannot participate.

RS 17:4021 School eligibility
RS 17:4031.D(1)(a-c): School choice program

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

No-

However, for the Louisiana Scholarship Program, the enrollment of scholarship recipients in a participating school that has been approved, provisionally approved, or probationary approved for less than two years shall not exceed twenty percent of such school's total student enrollment.

RS 17:4021.A(3): School eligibility

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Yes-

Louisiana Scholarship Program: "A participating nonpublic school shall ensure that scholarship recipients are administered all examinations required pursuant to the school and district accountability system at the prescribed grade levels and that the results of such examinations are provided to parents or legal guardians."

RS 17:4023 Testing

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Yes-

Louisiana Scholarship Program: A school is only eligible to participate in the program if they received a letter grade of "A" or "B", or any variation thereof, for the most recent school year pursuant to the school and district accountability system. "Scholarship recipients enrolled in a participating school that fails to meet the eligibility criteria established in this Section may transfer to another participating school for the succeeding school year without loss of eligibility, and such recipients shall be given preference for enrollment at other participating schools."

RS 17:4021.B & C: School eligibility

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Did not find

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Yes-

"The parent or other legal guardian of any student may enroll his child in the public school of his choice, without regard to residence, school system geographic boundaries, or attendance zones, provided both of the following apply:

(1) The public school in which the student was most recently enrolled, or would otherwise attend, received a school performance letter grade of "D" or "F" for the most recent school year, pursuant to the state's school and district accountability system.

(2) The school in which the student seeks to enroll received a school performance letter grade of "A", "B", or "C" for the most recent school year, pursuant to the state's school and district accountability system, and has sufficient capacity at the appropriate grade level."

RS 17:4035.1 A.(1-2): Public School Choice

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

No-

"...a school system shall not be required to provide transportation to any student enrolled in a public school pursuant to this Section that is located outside of the geographic boundaries of the school system in which the student resides, if providing such transportation will result in additional cost to the school system."

RS 17:4035.1 C

Page last updated: January 2020

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The content contained herein is currently under review by state policy experts. This beta version of the Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes. This information is current through the second legislative session of 2019. The information contained here does not reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. Additionally, the information on this website does not constitute legal advice. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. As previously indicated, information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. This site contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.