BEAUREGARD PARISH, LA (KPLC) - State Superintendent of Education John White visited the Beauregard Parish School Board Thursday, Aug. 9 to present a new plan aimed at improving the educational outcomes of students.
"We're talking about a plan that gives as much power as possible to the people who are close to our kids, who know them and that's our teachers," White said.
The plan will bring more belief in the children by making curriculum in the schools more competitive. Second, it will bring more belief in educators by giving them the power to decide rather than complying with what's required. Officials say it will also bring belief in family by allowing families to choose the academic pathways for their children.
But in Beauregard Parish, White said a small percentage of students applied for the voucher program, the program that allows families to choose a better academic pathway.
"I've looked at the numbers. Do I think the impact on Beauregard Parish of these choice programs -- charter schools, private schools that are publicly funded and so on -- do I think those are that great? No, not really and for two reasons: There are not any "F" schools in this district. And number two, of the 6,000 youngsters who attend school in Beauregard Parish, only 14 of them applied for a private school voucher," White said at the BPSB meeting.
But even if only 14 students applied for the program, if accepted, how these students are assigned is a process that won't be released until September.
"We decided recently to do a second round of assignment of students to schools," White said. "If we'd have gone out and said here's how the process works before we made that decision, we'd be giving a false impression to the community. So, as soon as the process is done, we'll share the information."
White also commented on the Delhi Charter School controversy where it was mandatory for girls to take a pregnancy test and if the student was pregnant, she was kicked out of school.
White said every school -- public or private -- makes bad decisions. Delhi realized this, and is now changing its policy and its time to move on, he said.