BESE Adopts Scholarship Accountability System

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the proposed accountability system and criteria for nonpublic school participation in the Louisiana Scholarship program, ensuring a common bar for performance among all schools and swift consequences if programs do not achieve.

Schools with 10 voucher students per grade or schools with 40 voucher students in tested grades will be grades by the state using a Scholarship Cohort Index, which is similar to the school performance scores issued in public schools. The score results from the SCI will determine the schools success with the voucher students.

Bethel Christian Academy School in Clarks is a handful of schools in the area taking part in the voucher program and say they understand the need for accountability. Board member Keith Thomas said that all of the teachers at Old Bethel Christian Academy are on board with the additions that were made today by BESE and it won't change how the school is run. Thomas said that all of the voucher students will fall under their academic and behavioral rules. Old Bethel Christian Academy is receiving 20 voucher students.

"I think it's ok with us. We can meet those guideline and gives the parents choice by seeing what we're able to do compared to the public schools they were in and that is what I think we're all trying to get is to have parents to have a choice what is best for their child," said Thomas.

Parents will be able to see what progress is made inside the classroom because of the accountability system and at Bethel voucher students are already being tutored to prepare for the change.

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