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Ruston school cut from Louisiana voucher program

Last Modified: Friday, June 28, 2013 5:11 PM

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A church-affiliated school in Ruston has been dropped from Louisiana's voucher program because it charged the state more for tuition than it did parents of non-voucher students.

The Department of Education announced Friday that it was cutting New Living Word School from the voucher program, based on findings of an outside auditor, and requiring the school to repay $378,000.

New Living Word School had 93 voucher students in the 2012-13 year and charged the state $6,300 per student annually. For non-voucher students, the audit says the school collected about $550 each.

School principal Jerry Baldwin says the audit findings are incorrect and the school has followed state guidelines.

Baldwin says the school uses "in-kind donations" of staff salaries and facilities use to help cover tuition costs for non-voucher students.

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