St. Landry

Jun 29, 2012 6:09 PM by Elizabeth Hill

Park Vista Elementary only public school in the state to accept vouchers

Today was the deadline for applications for the state voucher program.

Of the 125 schools participating statewide, only one is a public school---and it's right here in Acadiana.

"It's a high poverty, high performing public school," says Park Vista Elementary Principal Ulysse Joubert.

A rarity in louisiana. Park Vista Elementary in Opelousas is rated under the state's grading system as a "B" school and it's the only public school participating in the new voucher system.

"To be honest with you the staff is the ones that said why don't we do that, i said very good."

Longtime Principal Ulysse Joubert says he has 25 spots open for kindergarten and received 33 applications. Park Vista is the only "B" school in the parish.

"We think we have the space and so it's just like any other kids coming in. It shouldn't be a major production."

Joubert admits he didn't know exactly what to expect when he decided to participate in the state voucher program, but he says as he's learned more about the program, the more confident he is that he made the right decision.

"You wanna give as many chances as you can to as many people."

Joubert says regardless of the politics, kids should have a way out of failing schools.

Along with Park Vista in St. Landry Parish, Family Worship Christian Academy (50 applications, 66 spots) is participating.

Five schools in Lafayette Parish accepted vouchers. Gethsemane Christian Academy (70 applications, 100 spots), Holy Family Catholic, Immaculate Heart of Mary, John Paul the Great Academy (48 applications, 64 spots) and Lafayette Christian Academy.

Central Catholic High School in St. Mary Parish and Lighthouse Christian High School in Vermilion Parish also took applications.

We attempted to contact all nine schools to find out how many applications they received, but did not hear back from everyone.

Every school participating has until July 8th to send the applications to the State Department of Education.

If there are more applicants than spots, a lottery will be held.

Parents will be notified of their application status by July 31st.

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