Louisiana state resources
Louisiana does not have accreditation or licensing requirements for nonpublic schools.
All schools, regardless of approval, must register with the state.
Approval is optional and requires an annual review of curriculum and student performance.
The Louisiana Department of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.
The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Louisiana.
Homeschool families must register with the state.
The Louisiana DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.
State funding sources & support
Louisiana provides funding for private education:
The School Choice Pilot Scholarship Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities: Offers scholarship money for students to attend schools with special needs programs.
Louisiana Scholarship Program: Provides funding for low-income residents of New Orleans who are zoned for a low-performing school to opt to attend a nonpublic school.
Tuition Donation Rebate Program: Offers tax benefits for those who donate toward various scholarship funds in the state.
Approved schools must meet curriculum requirements in line with public schools in the state. Non-approved schools can offer any curriculum but must limit class size to 35 students, except in large activity courses such as band and physical education.
Teacher certification & hiring
Schools receiving state, local, or federal funding must hire certified teachers. Schools not receiving government funding can hire teachers at their discretion.
Food services / school lunch
In Louisiana, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.
Length of school year
Schools must operate at least 180 days per year. School days must include 330 minutes of instruction per day.
Recordkeeping and reports
All schools must maintain student registration, attendance, and health records and report to the state each year.
Health and safety requirements
Students must be immunized, unless medically or religiously exempt, and provide documentation to the school.
Parish and city school boards must provide free transportation for nonpublic school students attending approved schools, providing the school does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin. If a parish or city school board determines transportation by bus is impractical, not available, or unwarranted, the board may utilize common carriers.
Students are required to pass state standardized tests to earn a standard state diploma.
State and regional associations
Independent Schools Association of the Southwest: ISAS promotes, upholds, and advances the highest educational and professional standards for the region’s independent schools.
Louisiana Association of Independent Schools: The association encourages communication among member schools, fosters the traditional freedom of the independent school to practice its philosophies of education, and serves as a liaison with regional and national accrediting agencies, and the National Association of Independent Schools.
Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS): The mission of SAIS is to strengthen member schools by providing high-quality accreditation processes, comprehensive professional growth opportunities, and visionary leadership development programs.
Starting a Private School
Want to know more about opening a school? We’ve assembled a complete guide to starting a private school, with considerations for everything from planning and finance to branding, hiring, curriculum, facilities, and more!
We've done our best to pull together current and accurate information. Even so, there may be omissions or mistakes or content that needs to be updated. If you have recommendations for any resources or corrections, we appreciate your input so we can continue to improve this guide for everyone.
Nothing in this guide should be construed as legal, business, or tax advice. It is important that you engage qualified professionals who can advise you on such matters, and please visit the Department of Education pages for your state to verify you are in compliance with all regulations.