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.
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."
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.
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.
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.