Some Louisiana students can spend an extra year in high school, working toward advanced credentials in a pilot program that's spreading from New Orleans to northwest and southwest Louisiana. 

Authorities say the Caddo and Calcasieu Parish “extension academies” will allow debt-free training for students who have enough credits to graduate but don't qualify for Louisiana's free college and trade school tuition programs.

Like the one in New Orleans, the pilot programs will cover three years. The new ones are planned to start in the 2020-21 school year with up to 25 students. 

Officials say New Orleans' program has 17 students.

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