Education

Education
11:36 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Course Choice Scaled Back After Court Ruling

State Superintendent John White wants to scrape the Department of Education's administrative budget to pay for public school students to take individual courses from private providers.

The Course Choice program had been included in the formula that supports public schools. But the same state Supreme Court ruling that shuttled the planned financing for vouchers, said those funds couldn't go to the new classes either.

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Education Overhaul
8:57 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Dust Settled, Lawmakers More Measured on Education Reforms

Baton Rouge Democrat Rep. Ted James (left) and New Orleans Republican Rep. Kirk Talbot have both proposed bills this session moderating the education overhaul of 2012.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

Earlier this month, Louisiana's Supreme Court ruled that the way the state's private school voucher program was paid for was unconstitutional. It can't be paid for through the Minimum Foundation Formula, or MFP -- the pool of money that supports public education.

Rep. Kirk Talbot, a Republican from New Orleans who voted in favor of the education overhaul Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed hard for last year, says the missteps in the funding of the voucher program gave some in the legislature, " a little bit of heartburn."

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Vouchers on Trial
11:43 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Supreme Court Rules Voucher Funding Unconstitutional

Louisiana’s Supreme Court has ruled that money reserved for public schools can’t be used to pay for private school tuition under the state constitution.

The 6-1 decision, handed down Tuesday, undermines the school voucher program that was a keystone of the education overhaul pushed through the legislature by Gov. Jindal last year.

In a written statement following the ruling, Jindal said the program is, “alive and well.” Nearly 5,000 students are enrolled at private schools through the voucher program. Roughly 8,000 students have been offered vouchers for next year.

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Education
10:50 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Lawmakers Endorse Delay of Teacher Evaluation Consequences

The House Education Committee has agreed to a proposal that would delay the disciplinary effects of a new teacher evaluation system for another year while school districts work out any kinks.

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Education
3:21 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Committee Backs Delay of School Performance Score Changes

Performance scores starting with the current school year are set to rely heavily on the ACT. Results from the college entrance exam would account for 25 percent of a public high school’s score.

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Education
5:56 am
Wed April 17, 2013

School Counselor, Librarian Mandates to Stand

The state's top school board has dropped plans to do away with requirements for counselors and librarians at public schools.

The Dept. of Education had recommended the change as part of a continuing push to give more flexibility to local administrators. The reversal came as a surprise to the dozens of critics who flocked to the BESE meeting to voice impassioned opposition Tuesday.

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Early Childhood Development
7:28 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Study Results Bode Well For Early Childhood Education Act

Results of a ten year study show at-risk students who attended Pre-K do better in elementary and middle school.

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Early Childhood Education
6:13 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Pre-K: Politics and Poverty

Pre-K students raise their hands to answer a question in an LA-4 class.
Credit Sue Lincoln / Southern Education Desk

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for universal pre-K.

The President singled out Georgia and Oklahoma as states that have already made pre-K a priority.

Louisiana should also be ahead of the curve.

The state enacted a universal pre-K promise in 2008. Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, LA-4 classes are supposed to be provided at no cost to every eligible child.


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Education
6:25 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Pre-K Access: Good Program, Few Spots

Stephanie Berry and her son Cameron.
Credit Dan Carsen / Southern Education Desk

When it comes to enrollment rates, neither the South nor the U.S. is anywhere near “universal Pre-K.” Only eight states provide it to more than half their four-year-olds. Georgia is one of them. Louisiana enacted legislation in 2008 promising to provide pre-K to every eligible child through the state-run LA-4 program starting with the 2013-14 school year.

Alabama's state-funded pre-K program has been recognized as one of the country's best. But as the Southern Education Desk's Dan Carsen reports, just six percent of eligible kids are enrolled.


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Vouchers on Trial
7:45 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Whether Vouchers Short Public Schools Argued in La. Supreme Court

Louisiana's state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the case challenging the statewide school voucher program.

The justices' questions focused on whether the state constitution allows vouchers for private school tuition to be paid for through the MFP -- the formula used to calculate support for public schools.

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