Applications for tuition vouchers increases

BATON ROUGE (AP) — State Superintendent of Education John White says the state has received nearly 12,000 applications for

state-funded private school tuition.

That's up from 10,000 last year, the first year the voucher program was statewide.

Increased interest comes despite a judge's ruling that the voucher program as currently funded violates the state constitution.

A state Supreme Court ruling in that case is pending.

The taxpayer-financed tuition at private and parochial schools is available to students from low- to moderate-income families

who otherwise would attend public schools graded with a C, D or F by the state. Priority is for students in D- and F-rated


White says 134 schools likely will

participate in the program, up from 118 currently. He says the first

round of student assignments

will be made in mid-April.