Nearly 8,000 vouchers have been offered to students, up from about 5,000 last year, state officials said Wednesday.

Nearly 12,000 families applied for the aid, which is up from about 10,000 who applied in 2012.

Vouchers are state aid for students in C, D and F public schools to attend private and parochial schools if they meet income rules.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and state Superintendent of Education John White made the announcement.

The aid was ruled unconstitutional on Nov. 30 by 19th Judicial District Court Judge Timothy Kelley, of Baton Rouge.

Attorneys for the state appealed the ruling, and a decision is expected soon from the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The nearly 8,000s students matched to schools of their choice attend 128 schools in 32 parishes.

A second round of applications will be available to families on May 6 and be due on May 24. Families will start being notified on the week of June 10.