More than 5,000 Louisiana students in 33 parishes can get new taxpayer-funded voucher slots at private schools this fall, under a law pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal that created a statewide voucher program the Associated Press reports. The state education department on Tuesday unveiled the list of private and parochial schools that have been approved to participate in the voucher program expansion approved by lawmakers in April. The final assignments and number of students who will take the seats for the 2012-13 school year will be set by the end of July. Superintendent of Education John White said he was pleased with the level of immediate start-up interest by schools, which he said was greater than similar programs in other states. He said he expected the number of voucher slots and participating schools to grow in later years…

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staff and wire services reports