July 16, 2013 03:32

About 2,000 students are signed up for a $2 million program to expand online and nontraditional high school course offerings to public school students, with several hundred other students on a waiting list.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - About 2,000 students are signed up for a $2 million program to expand online and nontraditional high school course offerings to public school students, with several hundred other students on a waiting list.

The Department of Education announced the registration figures Monday for the "Course Choice" program that begins next month.

Under the program, academic courses and skills training will be taught by private organizations and universities outside of the public school classroom. Top courses, according to the education department, are Spanish, math, biology and civics classes.

The education department said 500 students are on a waiting list for the program in case other students back out or in case more funding is identified to expand it.

Enrollment was limited after the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled initial plans to finance Course Choice through the public school funding formula unconstitutional. The state education board agreed to tap into a financing stream from an oil and gas trust fund to start a pilot program limited to high school courses.

Public school students can enroll in the courses with the state paying the costs if they attend a school currently graded with a C, D or F in the state accountability system - or if they attend a school that doesn't offer the class they want to take.

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