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Growing concerns over La.’s non-traditional schools; efforts to combat opioid crisis in Acadiana

Springfield Preparatory School, a non-approved school, in Springfield, La. on July 27, 2023.
Scott Threlkeld
Springfield Preparatory School, an unapproved private school, in Springfield, La. on July 27, 2023.

During the first two years of the pandemic, public school enrollment in the U.S. fell by more than 1.2 million students. While some enrolled in private schools or formal homeschooling programs, others switched to unapproved schools that have little oversight and don’t need state permission to grant degrees.

Sharon Luyre recently published an investigation into these schools for AP News and joins us to discuss the accusations against these institutions, including inappropriate behavior by teachers and accusations of “diploma buying.”

Ochsner Lafayette General Hospital recently received a $1 million dollar grant to combat opioid addiction and abuse in rural communities. The grant, which comes from the Health Resources and Services Administration will be used to pay for preventative programming and educational outreach, among other initiatives.Alena Maschke covers health for the Acadiana Advocate and The Current. She spoke with our managing producer Alana Schreiber.

Over the last year, state legislatures in the Gulf South saw a deluge of bills with anti-LGBTQ sentiment, especially directed at trans youth. As the Gulf States Newsroom’s Drew Hawkins reports, these policies are causing some doctors to leave a region that’s already experiencing a serious shortage of healthcare providers.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Karen Henderson. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and assistant producer is Aubry Procell. Our engineer is Garrett Pittman.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12 and 7 p.m. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Karen Henderson is an award-winning journalist whose stories have aired nationally on NPR.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.