Choose an audience +

school choice

Louisiana – Tuition Donation Rebate Program

Louisiana – Tuition Donation Rebate Program

Louisiana’s Tuition Donation Rebate Program is a tax-credit scholarship program enacted and launched in 2012. It was designed to encourage donors to contribute to scholarship organizations that help students from low-income households access the private learning options best suited to their needs. Learn more about the program details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

Program Fast Facts

  • 1,706 participating students (2016–17)

  • 46 percent of families with children income-eligible statewide

  • 3 scholarship organizations awarding scholarships (2015–16)

  • 163 participating schools (2016–17)

  • Average scholarship value: $4,241 (2015–16)

  • Value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 39 percent

Program Details

Louisiana’s Tuition Donation Rebate Program Participation

Students Participating
School Year Ending

Click the + symbols to learn more about this program’s details.

Louisiana taxpayers can receive tax rebates for donations they make to school tuition organizations (STOs), nonprofits that provide private school scholarships. There is no cap on available rebates.

Student Funding

For students in grades K–8, scholarships can be worth up to 80 percent of the state average Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funding per pupil for the previous year. For grades 9–12, scholarships can be worth up to 90 percent of that same figure.

Student Eligibility

Students must come from families whose household income is less than 250 percent of the federal poverty line ($61,500 for a family of four in 2017–18). Additionally, they either must be entering kindergarten, have attended a public school during the previous school year, or have previously received a scholarship. Students who received a voucher under the Louisiana Scholarship Program in the previous school year are also eligible.

EdChoice Expert Feedback

Louisiana’s tax-credit scholarship program is very strong on funding, as there is no cap on the amount of credits donors can claim; moreover, individual scholarships can be worth up to 80 percent of the average state funding per pupil in grades K–8 and 90 percent in grades 9–12. However, the program unnecessarily limits eligibility based on income and enrollment status. As a result, only about 44 percent of students statewide qualify to receive scholarships. The program also places a number of regulations on participating schools: Schools must use lotteries to admit students and administer the state math and language arts tests to scholarship students, both of which could dissuade private schools from participating. For this promising program to grow successfully, less pressure should be placed on participating private schools and eligibility should be expanded to include all students, particularly because Louisiana already has a means-tested voucher program.

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: 250 percent x Poverty
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: Yes
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide
  • Enrollment Cap: None
  • Scholarship Cap: Conditional
  • Testing Mandates: State
  • Credit Value: 100 percent
  • Total Credit Cap: None
  • Budget Cap: None

 

STO Requirements:

  • Use at least 95 percent of contributions for scholarships
  • Conduct background checks on its employees and board members
  • Pay out at least 75 percent of all funds from donations annually
  • Report annually to the state:
    • Total number and dollar amount of contributions received
    • Total number and dollar amount of scholarships awarded
    • Total amount expended on administrative costs
    • Tuition and fee amounts published by participating schools
    • Information on contributions made by each contributor
    • Financial information report by a certified public accountant

Governing Statutes

Legal History

No legal challenges have been filed against the program.

Questions about Educational Choice?

Choose your path.

Receive Educational Choice Updates Straight to Your Inbox.

Follow Our Progress.

Receive Educational Choice Updates Straight to Your Inbox.