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School vouchers, student achievement, randomized control trial, experiment, school choice


The Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP) is a statewide initiative offering publicly-funded vouchers to enroll in local private schools to students in low-performing schools with family income no greater than 250 percent of the poverty line. Initially established in 2008 as a pilot program in New Orleans, the LSP was expanded statewide in 2012. This paper examines the experimental effects of using an LSP scholarship to enroll in a private school on student achievement in the first two years following the program’s expansion. Our results indicate that the use of an LSP scholarship has negatively impacted both ELA and math achievement, although only the latter estimates are statistically significant. Moreover, we observe less negative effect estimates in the second year of the program.