Deadline is today for school vouchers

New Orleans, La. - Time is running out for eligible families to apply for state-paid tuition to private schools. The voucher program was approved in the last legislative session.

It allows students from low- to moderate-income families who attend low-performing public schools to switch to an approved private school and have tuition paid by the state. An estimated 5,000 voucher-funded seats will be available at more than 120 non-public schools around Louisiana.

As Friday's deadline approached, state education officials said they already had more than 6,000 applications. At schools where applicants exceed the number of voucher seats available, the seats will be awarded through a lottery system.

Meanwhile, three lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of the voucher program. The latest was filed by members of the Louisiana School Boards Association.

For more information about the program and to get an application, visit the Department of Education's website.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.