April 14, 2015

Cassidy Protects Louisiana Students’ Access to AP, Accelerated Learning Programs

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. applauded the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for passing a bipartisan initiative to strengthen and protect Louisiana students’ access to AP courses and other accelerated learning programs.

Introduced with Sen. Franken (D-MN) as an amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, it protects funding to cover part or all of the costs of accelerated learning examinations (AP, IB tests) for low income students. It also increases the number of teachers and students in high need schools that participate in accelerated learning courses, dual enrollment programs, and early college high school courses.

Many four-year colleges in the U.S. give students credit, advanced placement or both, on the basis of AP Exam scores. This saves families thousands of dollars in college tuition. Louisiana has taken advantage of the program in the past. Today, the committee pledged to protect the program.

Louisiana benefits:

  • In 2009, a total of 1,347 AP exams were taken by low-income students in Louisiana. By 2014, that number has grown by 410% to 6,870 AP exams.
  • Louisiana received $281,745 through the federal AP Test Fee program in FY2014.
  • Louisiana ranks 4th in the country in terms of the percentage increase in the number of African American students taking at least one AP exam between 2004-2014.
  • The estimated potential tuition cost-savings for low-income students in Louisiana scoring a 3 or higher on an AP Exam in 2014 was $1 million,.

Dr. Cassidy offered the following statement:

“The future of Louisiana and the future of our country depends on our children realizing the American dream. For many, having access to higher-level learning classes and the opportunity to go to college is a gateway for them to achieve that dream.”

Read more about Dr. Cassidy’s education initiatives HERE.