EBR Schools to pay Arizona State $6,000 per child for virtual learning academy

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools is getting some help to run its virtual learning academy.

On Thursday, the board approved a contract with Arizona State University’s digital prep program.

Superintendent Sito Narcisse said the virtual learning program is still an EBR school, but they are just having ASU work the component to provide children with different options virtually.

“We’re at a time when we’re trying to get kids to do better,” said Narcisse.

“If this work is about the kids and our students then we have to put our best foot forward,” said East Baton Rouge Schools Board Member Dadrius Lanus.

According to the contract, Arizona State will bill the district a little more than $6,000 per child for the year.

“We already pay enough to private companies for outsourcing our curriculum and online learning programs,” said a parent at the school board meeting.

Parents and community members argue the virtual academy should not be outsourced. Instead, parents said the school system should use teachers that know and understand Louisiana to teach our kids.

“We could keep things in-house. We can figure it out, we don’t need to outsource it to an out-of-state private company,” said the parent.

The district is short 106 teachers and the superintendent believes this decision is the right one.

“We’re also getting them prepared for their future and also give parents a lot of options,” said Narcisse.

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