BESE Moves Ahead with 'Course Choice'

Dec 4, 2012

The state school board has authorized 45 organizations to offer courses to public school students starting next year. Most of the courses would be taught fully or partially online.

BESE made its decision even though a judge ruled Friday that paying for the program through the public school funding formula as planned is unconstitutional. Gov. Bobby Jindal said he will appeal that ruling, which was also blow to his private school voucher program.

BESE member Lotti Beebe – a vocal opponent of Jindal’s education overhaul – says it’s irresponsible to move forward with “Course Choice” until the litigation is resolved.

But, state Supt. John White says financing through the school funding formula or the state budget could be figured out later.

“If there is no funding vehicle allowed for, then there would be no funding for this program. But the program needs to authorized and the providers authorized to engage in it in order for there to be any funding.” 

The list of approved providers includes Acadian Ambulance, Associated Builders and Contractors, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting, along with several public school districts. State education officials and an independent panel of experts picked the providers from an initial pool of 96 applicants after reviewing their credentials and curriculum plans.