BATON ROUGE, La. - Nearly 8,000 students will receive vouchers to attend the school of their choice (provided the school participates) in the Louisiana Scholarship Program.

Jindal said that is an increase of 3,000 students over the number who are utilizing the vouchers in the 2012-13 school year.

A news release from Jindal indicated that 12,000 students had sought the vouchers.

'The status quo simply wasn't working, and our kids deserved better. Indeed, 44 percent of Louisiana schools were rated D's or F's, we were spending nearly a billion dollars on failing schools, and one-third of our students were not performing at grade level. The bottom line is that our kids only get one chance to grow up and we couldn't wait for reform any longer. We took a giant step forward by passing landmark reforms to empower parents, give families more choices, make sure the dollars follow the child, and give every child the opportunity to get a great education.'

Jindal said the scholarship program saved the taxpayers $18 million in the past school year. Opponents say the vouchers siphon off important money from public schools.

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