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Voucher program to impact local schools

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More than a week after New Living Word School in Ruston received word that it was approved by the state to accept 315 students as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s scholarship program, Lincoln Parish’s school board is preparing for what a lack of students may bring to its system.
Schools Superintendent Danny Bell said the voucher program will affect the parish’s public school system in a negative way.

“It is certainly going to create a funding issue for us,” he said. “We are already currently dealing with a budget shortfall, and losing more money would just make things more difficult.”
New Living Word, which had 122 students enrolled last year, reportedly doesn’t have enough space, teachers or computers available for such a large increase, but school principal and church pastor, the Rev. Jerry Baldwin said he and the school plan to move forward “on faith” with plans to upgrade the school’s facilities for the increase of students.

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