72 applicants to be interviewed for Course Choice - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

72 applicants to be interviewed for Course Choice

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - More than three-quarters of the organizations seeking to participate in Louisiana's new "Course Choice" program made it through the first round of the application process, Superintendent of Education John White announced Wednesday.

Seventy-two possible course providers are advancing to the interview round, he said. Twenty-two didn't make the cut.

The program is designed to offer students new academic courses, skills training and work-based apprenticeships they can't receive in their public school classrooms. The expanded course choices will begin in the 2013-14 school year.

Applications have come from contracting groups, online course providers and colleges seeking state tax dollars to teach students.

"We got really solid applications," White said. But he added, "It is just the start to what is going to be a rigorous review process going forward."

White said the next round of vetting involves a background check, interviews and reviews of the history of the organizations seeking to teach Louisiana students through the program. Interviews will include looking at course plans, skills being taught and qualifications of the teachers, he said.

Organizations that advance past the interview round will then face review from a panel of independent education experts, as required under the law.

Final decisions on which course providers will be allowed will be decided by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in December.

Those that didn't make the first cut in some instances didn't have enough plans for transportation, scheduling concerns and special education students, White said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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