Louisiana Scholarship Program Evaluation

This study examines the effects of the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP) on the student achievement of both participating and non-participating students as well as the program’s impact on key non-cognitive outcomes. The LSP is a statewide program, available to students with modest family incomes who attend a public school graded C or lower by the state accountability system, launched in the fall of 2012. Because the program was oversubscribed, placements in participating private schools were determined by a single lottery, providing the foundation for this first-ever analysis of the participant effects of a statewide school voucher program using “gold standard” experimental methods. We take advantage of the sharp cutoff between low B schools, whose students are not eligible for school choice, and high C schools, whose students are, to examine the competitive effects of the LSP on student achievement in affected public schools. We also use student enrollment and demographic data from 2012 and 2013 to determine the effect of the school choice program on the racial integration of the public schools that lose students and the private schools that gain students through the initiative. The evaluation will run from 2013 through 2019.