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John White pushing for more education reform

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - In education news, Superintendent John White is pushing more education reform.

Next week, White is expected to ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to adopt his jump start program.

The plan requires students not going to a four year university to get a certificate in a technical trade to graduate.

West Monroe Guidance counselor Kathy Gray said the idea looks good on paper, but she is concerned about funding and stretching the faculty too thin.  She also worries some schools will have an advantage with more money and resources.

"So once again you are going to have disparity between the bigger schools, even the more affluent areas where students who happen to go to those schools are going to be better served," Gray said.

Under Jump Start any student can earn a state approved technical certificate, but the program is specifically designed for students not planning on going to college. Certificates encompass many trades from electrician, to construction, to video editing.

Superintendent John White said the state has already committed money for the program. He also says spending money on students now is a better investment than having adults rely on the state to take of them.

"While be it there may be kids in the rural areas that have to go a ways  to get to those assets that should be something we are considering because that might be the right thing to do for those kids. It might even require crossing parish lines and that is okay. We've got to think outside the box if we are going to provide our kids with the skills they need to get ready for today's work force," White said.    

Gray said jump start isn't a bad idea and she thinks it could work for some students. But she said there has to be a better way to make sure students don't fall through the cracks.

If approved, the program would go into effect during the 2016-2017 school year.

For more information on this program go to http://www.louisianabelieves.com/courses/jump-start-career-education.

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