NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana Education Superintendent John White says improving the graduation rate among students with disabilities and enabling high school students to earn technical college associate degrees are among the priorities in the coming year for the state education department.

White also said Wednesday that a fund will be established in the department aimed at turning around failing schools in the state.

He outlined the priorities for the coming year in a telephone news conference and in a speech in Jefferson Parish.

Other priorities include developing an early childhood education network that will cover all "early learners" by 2015. And a program to train teachers statewide to meet nationwide assessment standards.

White said the implementation of the priorities will more effectively use limited state money while improving education.

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