The state's top school board has approved $2 million in financing to pay for students to take individual classes elsewhere if their public school is underperforming or doesn't offer a course they want.
The money for the "Course Choice" program will be drawn from a state education trust fund stemming from an old oil drilling settlement, including $1 million that had been slated for local districts.
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.
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.