BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is moving ahead with plans to grade publicly funded prekindergarten and early childhood education programs.

The board Wednesday agreed to Superintendent of Education John White's framework for complying with a new law that calls for the development of a common assessment for the education programs.

The education department will start with pilot projects in individual districts next year to determine what type of grading scale should be used when the statewide program begins in 2015.

State funding for early childhood programs will be linked to the assessment system.

The board also gave final passage to 45 course providers who will offer online classes and other skills training to public school students through the "Course Choice" program planned for the 2013-14 school year.

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