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Auditors, Local Education Officials Want More from School Voucher Program

Louisiana Legislative Auditors combed through the Louisiana Department of Education in their audit and came out wanting more from them.

MONROE -- Louisiana Legislative Auditors combed through the Louisiana Department of Education in their audit and came out wanting more from them.

Mostly, they want more standards and criteria in their school voucher program.

That program helps low-income students attend private schools at taxpayer expense.

It's a program the Monroe Federation of Teachers has been against from the start, not against the opportunities it provides but the cost it brings.

"If you are going to have a private school, a voucher school, a charter school and you make your own rules and regulations, I just think that they should be funded by those entities that will support that," Federation President, Sandie Lollie, said.

Auditors want more criteria for school capacity for voucher students and separate accounts for each voucher student.

The DOE agreed to both.

Lollie said to help fix this, some of the ways public schools operate should be brought over to private ones too.

"Even a C school, there are certain mechanisms in place to make sure that it is a C School, how it got there and that it can maintain that status," she said. "They don't have those mechanisms in place. They don't have to be a A,B,C,D school. They have their own standards."

The DOE disgareed with auditors on just one issue.

Auditors want more specific criteria for removing a school from the voucher program.
 
The DOE said their own criteria already in place is specific enough.

In a statement, Louisiana State Superintendent, John White, said:

"The audit confirms that in the Scholarship Program's first year, the state implemented the program according to the law. The audit also makes some helpful suggestions on future implementation, some of which the state has already adopted and others the state will adopt in the future."

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