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Course choice funding leads huge increase

Special to
L’Observateur

BATON ROUGE — The number of students enrolling in Course Choice courses increased due to a $7.5 million enhancement to the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) and a corresponding change in state law, the Louisiana Department of Education announced.

For the 2014-2015 school year, students have enrolled in 19,068 courses to date through Course Choice, an increase from 2,362 course enrollments in the 2013-2014 program pilot.

Of those courses, more than 13,000 are “dual enrollment” at Louisiana’s post-secondary institutions.

Created as part of Governor Bobby Jindal’s education reform legislative package in 2012, Course Choice provides families and students the ability to select from hundreds of online and face-to-face courses not traditionally offered by high schools and middle schools.

The program is part of the state’s plan to allow every student a pathway to college and a professional career.

Course Choice courses offer students opportunities to pursue college coursework, Advanced Placement courses and technical training that prepare them for opportunities after high school. The program was piloted in the 2013-2014 school year, funded through a grant of state 8g funds.

“Investing in the education of our children is a top priority — that’s why we committed $7.5 million to Course Choice this year,” Jindal said. “This program connects more of our students to a wider range of course options and helps them get the skills they need to grow up and pursue their dreams.

“The increase in enrollment means more of our kids are working toward academic success in the classroom, and we won’t stop working to make education the best it can be for our children.”

Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association, said school boards are supportive of the need to provide dual enrollment opportunities for students and parents.