Innovative program enables students to attend courses not traditionally offered by middle and high schools
Baton Rouge, La. (Jan. 7, 2015) – The Louisiana Federation for Children, a state affiliate of the American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, today welcomed the Louisiana Department of Education’s announcement of an increase in the number of students enrolling in Course Choice due to a $7.5 million enhancement to the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) and a corresponding change in state law.
Created as part of Gov. 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.
Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children, issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement:
“The impressive enrollment increase in the Louisiana Department of Education’s Course Choice program is yet another example of how Louisiana families have embraced school choice options.
“The state’s investment in Course Choice allows students to pursue their dreams through a broad range of online and face-to-face courses, as well as the opportunity to pursue college coursework through dual enrollment.”
Course Choice Highlights:
- 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.
- Through the Course Choice program, Louisiana high school students are taking TOPS-aligned dual enrollment courses at the state’s four-year universities.
- Course Choice also allows middle and high school students the ability to earn course credits via the Internet. The state has 17 online providers which offer an array of courses geared to preparing students for post-secondary education and technical schools.
- For the 2015-2016 school year, the MFP Task Force is recommending to BESE an increase in the per-pupil funding for the Supplemental Course Allocation in the MFP from 26 dollars to 35 dollars to help meet the demand for dual enrollment and other course choices.
In January 2014, the Minimum Foundation Program Task Force, consisting of education stakeholders from around the state, approved a recommendation to add $7.5 million to the MFP formula through a Supplemental Course Allocation (SCA). The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the state Legislature ultimately approved this recommendation, and the Legislature passed Act 482, making all students at all public middle and high schools eligible for Course Choice offerings.
The Louisiana Federation for Children, a project of the American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice, is dedicated to promoting educational choice by protecting, growing and expanding scholarship programs for low and middle-income children.
Ann Duplessis is a former legislator who served on the Senate Education Committee and fought successfully to expand educational options for Louisiana’s children by authoring and supporting numerous pieces of school choice legislation. Duplessis resides in New Orleans and remains active in numerous civic activities.