Auditors questioned less than 1 percent of $35 million in public spending on Louisiana's private school voucher program in the 2013-14 academic year, state education officials said. One private school, Prevailing Faith Christian Academy in Monroe, accounted for one fourth of the suspect spending.
Last school year, 126 voucher schools enrolled 6,700 students. The program, officially the Louisiana Scholarship Program, pays for low-income students at low-performing public schools to attend mostly private schools.
Per state law, voucher schools must account for the public money they receive. That law was strengthened during this year's legislative session, where lawmakers decided that schools must separate voucher money from other cash, to easily allow for auditing. This year is the first that independent auditors were able thoroughly to check the books at these schools; last year, comingled cash muddied accounting at nearly all of them.