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Education news is a priority for our expanding local news reporting — providing trusted news for parents, educators and community leaders. 

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Q&A: Why Louisiana's Voucher Program Isn't Working

May 9, 2019
The application to become a voucher school is just 16 pages long. Meanwhile charter school applications take months, and can run more than 170 pages.|The Times-Picayune

The Louisiana Scholarship Program, also known as the state’s school voucher program, promises families a way out of struggling public schools. But a joint-investigation with WWNO, Fox 8 News and|The Times-Picayune, reveals the program steered families into private schools with low test scores and little oversight. Our investigation, The Cost of Choice, was part of a collaboration organized by the investigative newsroom, Reveal.

The Cost Of Choice: How Louisiana's Voucher Program Steered Families Into D and F Private Schools

May 7, 2019
Resurrection of Our Lord school in New Orleans East has 94 percent voucher students.
Fox 8 WVUE

Politicians promised the Louisiana Scholarship Program would offer low-income students a way out of bad public schools. Instead, the program steered families into low-performing private schools with little oversight. 

Junior Tye Mansion goes up to bat for the McDonogh 35 Roneagles.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

The first black high school in New Orleans, McDonogh 35, was a source of pride, until the chartering of the city’s schools after Hurricane Katrina contributed to its academic collapse.

Now, the school board hopes turning it over to a charter organization can save it.

On November 16th, voters in Orleans Parish will decide whether to approve three ballot propositions that could generate millions of dollars for city infrastructure projects.
Jess Clark / WWNO

Voters in Jefferson Parish will decide on May 4 whether to approve a millage to give Jefferson Parish teachers and staff a pay raise. It would be the first major across-the-board raise in about 10 years. Early voting is already underway on the new property tax, and goes through April 27th.

Orleans Parish officials say this is the fourth year of stagnant or declining test scores.
DCJOHN / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Participating in the state’s school voucher program leads to worse performance on state tests in math, according to the latest study on the Louisiana Scholarship Program.

A seventh-grader's investigation promtped the Orleans Parish School Board to test his school's water for lead.
Courtesy of

The Orleans Parish School Board says drinking water at Homer Plessy Community School is safe, according to state guidelines. The school board tested the water after a seventh-grade student found traces of lead using an at-home test kit.

Orleans Parish officials say this is the fourth year of stagnant or declining test scores.
DCJOHN / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Predicted severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes Thursday have prompted many New Orleans-area schools to close early. Below is a list of schools and their dismissal times.

Updated 10:30 am

Cypress Academy : 12 p.m. dismissal

New Schools For New Orleans CEO Patrick Dobard used to lead the Recovery School District. He talked with WWNO's Jess Clark about the strengths and challenges of the city's schools.
Courtesy of New Schools For New Orleans

New Orleans is on the verge of becoming the first city in the nation with no traditional public schools. Next school year, all New Orleans public schools will be either charters, or something similar known as 'contract schools.'  Patrick Dobard has seen the school system evolve since Hurricane Katrina. Dobard ran the Recovery School District from 2012 to 2017. Now he’s the CEO of New Schools for New Orleans, a nonprofit focused on improving the city’s schools. He sat down with WWNO education reporter Jess Clark to talk about how well the city's school system is working.

Berr Voss-Potts, 13, tested his school's drinking water for lead, and found evidence of possibly dangerous levels of the heavy metal.
Jess Clark / WWNO

Young people are the most at risk for lead contamination; lead can cause lifelong developmental problems for kids who are exposed to it. And there are concerns about the possibility of lead in New Orleans’ drinking water, including in the city’s schools. After years of delay by the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) to install water filters, one seventh-grader is taking matters into his own hands.


Orleans Parish officials say this is the fourth year of stagnant or declining test scores.
DCJOHN / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A new study from Tulane University’s Education Research Alliance looks into how charter school reforms impacted New Orleans' expulsion and suspension rates. Researchers found that the reforms increased expulsion rates in the first few years after the state took over the city's schools, but that after mounting public pressure and a lawsuit, expulsion rates dropped back down.