White wants more funding for Course Choice

Photo provided by staff

POSTED: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 7:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 9:18am

The Course Choice Program is one that takes kids out of the classroom and allows them to learn hands on or take college classes. The program isn't even a year old, and already, Superintendent John White wants to get more state dollars allocated for it.

Christian Williams is a Junior at Dutchtown High School; he's also halfway to getting his certification as an electrician thanks to the Course Choice Program.

“It kind of gives me a sense of what I am going to get into, and it gives me a working background,” stated Williams. “I should realize now what hard work is; it takes blood sweat and tears. It doesn't just come to you."

The program allows Williams and other students to get out of the classroom and learn a craft.

"I get more out of it because it's hands on, and that's the way I learn, not like in school. It's just better for me."

Just a year in, State Superintendent John White is already pushing to get more funding for the infant program.

"We've got to expand this,” said White. “First of all, we've got tens of thousands of jobs coming to our state that promises Louisiana a middle-class wage and the ability to provide for their families. If we don't get folks certified and trained for that, these opportunities won't go to Louisiana's kids, they'll go to someone else's."

The program uses state dollars to put kids through courses they can't take at their schools for one reason or another.

"It's not the fault of our high schools - it's just very, very difficult to offer literally dozens of spots to be electricians, welders. These are very technical fields that take specialized experience. We've got to individualize the education and Course Choice can do it, but we've got to grow it."

Though Williams is one of the pioneers of the Course Choice program, he's hoping others will also get the chance to get a jump start on a career, just like he is.

"This is helping me in the long run, you know. I am trying to be a better man than what I am today," said Williams.

Right now, 2,500 kids in Louisiana take advantage of Course Choice.

White is hoping to eventually have the funding for all students to participate in Course Choice if they’d want to.

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