Louisiana Department of Education

The number of Louisiana students who want to be part of the state’s Course Choice pilot program is surging with more than 1,000 students now on the waiting list, and hundreds more are expected to sign up ahead of the start of the school year. State superintendent John White said yesterday that his department is combing through its budget to try to find at least another $1.5 million to fund the program.

Caddo and Rapides parishes are among 15 selected to participate in a pilot program to develop an early childhood network that would provide 3- and 4-year-olds with equal access to high-quality instruction. State Superintendent John White told reporters yesterday that the parishes will share in a $2.6 million grant.

“We need to end the process of hunting around for a pre-K education," White said. "It’s not fair to families. It’s not fair to kids. By establishing one network, we’ll be able to list all of the options with all of the best information for parents.”