Friday, August 24, 2012

Hogs at the trough, from Louisiana Voice

Blogger Tom Aswell at Louisiana Voice has been following Gov. Jindal's schemes, and has posted this article documenting the ways that "course providers" will raid the state treasury: 

Feeding time for Department of Education online courses for Jindal’s Student Scholarships for Educatonal Excellence Act

August 22, 2012 by tomaswell

And so it came to pass that LouisianaVoice’s June 20 story about course providers as allowed by HB 976 (Act 2) of this year’s regular legislative session is playing out precisely as we said it would: the hogs are already bellying up to the buffet.

Course providers, you may recall, are the new kids on the education block who are crowding in for their slice of education funds pie by teaching virtual classes online. They don’t have classrooms but at least there’s no bus for students to catch.

The early submission deadline for potential course providers was Aug. 17 and the early Department of Education (DOE) review to accept, defer or reject applicants is Sept. 14. The interview of applicants who have been tentatively approved will begin on Sept. 18 and DOE is scheduled to post the accepted applications online by Sept. 28.

There were 25 applicants as of Tuesday, Aug. 21, according to documents provided by DOE.

The Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Act, as HB 976 is officially known, directs the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to create a “reciprocal teacher certification process” for teachers who reside in other states by next January.

Under terms of the act, postsecondary education institutions may serve as quality course providers for students who seek advanced level course work or technical or vocational instruction. Because “technical” and “vocational” were included in the bill’s language, that could mean that “postsecondary education institutions” would include not only traditional universities and colleges, but individuals, vocational and technical schools and proprietary schools.

But the bill goes on to specify that business and industry may also serve as “quality course providers that offer course work in their particular field of expertise.”

To read the rest of the article, please click here.

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