Education

What's happening with Louisiana's schools, colleges, universities, and ongoing education reform.

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.
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."

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.

Lawmakers Endorse Delay of Teacher Evaluation Consequences

Apr 25, 2013

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.

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.

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.

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

Pre-K: Politics and Poverty

Mar 22, 2013
Pre-K students raise their hands to answer a question in an LA-4 class.
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.


Pre-K Access: Good Program, Few Spots

Mar 21, 2013
Stephanie Berry and her son Cameron.
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.


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.

Vouchers Threaten Public School's Turnaround

Mar 19, 2013
Amy Jeffries / WRKF

The state Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case against the statewide school voucher program.

At issue is whether private school tuition can be paid for with the funds that would otherwise go to struggling public schools.

At Hosanna Christian Academy, the tuition is being used in the battle to bring voucher students up to grade level. Hosanna's intervention strategies were inspired by the turnaround efforts at public Winbourne Elementary.
 


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