Louisiana state education officials will train teachers next year on how to implement the state's new special-education graduation rules. The state plans to offer online training beginning in January and send advisers to schools in April.
A New Orleans pilot project to fund special-education services based on need could become a statewide program as early as the 2015-16 school year, according to Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White. The roughly 83,000 students with disabilities in the state currently receive the same aid regardless of disability or specific services. Special-education funding has been a heavily debated issue among state lawmakers.
A Louisiana school district is providing services to preschool-students with disabilities in what district officials call more inclusive, "natural" settings. The district has increased the number of preschool classes taught that consist of an equal number of students with and without disabilities and provide a general-education curriculum taught by a special-education teacher.
Inspired by a documentary on autism, three programmers developed a game to simulate the sensory overload that some children with autism spectrum disorders experience. "Auti-Sim" generally has garnered positive feedback, but some individuals have criticized the game because they say it does not reflect their experience with the disorder.
Louisiana superintendents are considering how they will continue to fund stipends for National Board Certified Teachers if the state does not pay for the $5,000 bonuses this year. One official said he is considering less hiring to offset funding the bonuses, and officials in another district are considering ending their bonus for NBCTs to make up for the difference in the state bonuses.