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Course Choice Scaled Back After Court Ruling

State Superintendent John White wants to scrape the Department of Education's administrative budget to pay for public school students to take individual courses from private providers.

The Course Choice program had been included in the formula that supports public schools. But the same state Supreme Court ruling that shuttled the planned financing for vouchers, said those funds couldn't go to the new classes either.

White said Friday the Course Choice program will be going ahead this fall as a "pilot" because of the court decision, with enrollment limited to 250 students per provider.

"This is a good step to maintain and honor parents' choices, work within more limited means, and learn about all aspects of implementation, because it is a pilot," White said.

The department received more than 2,000 applications for classes. 900 enrollments have already been approved, but those students will now be asked to re-enroll. It's unclear how many students will actually participate.

White said the department could ask the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to allocate roughly $2 million to the program when the board meets in June.