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Council For A Better Louisiana breaks down education proposals in Louisiana Legislature

JCPS said it would do the opposite by giving families a choice to go to school where they live...
JCPS said it would do the opposite by giving families a choice to go to school where they live instead of bussing them across town.
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 6:15 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana lawmakers are discussing significant changes to education.

Representatives from the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) and the Council For A Better Louisiana (CABL) discussed their impact at an event hosted by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce on April 7.

One proposal would allow parents to draw funds from an education savings account to facilitate school choice.

“It could be a private school. If they have special needs, it could be with special tutoring or special services,” explained CABL President Barry Irwin. “They would not be in a public school, but they would be using these public dollars that they could access towards educating their children.”

Just a year after kindergarten was made mandatory in Louisiana, one bill would require education even earlier.

“Say if you were a school or elementary school, and you have a kindergarten program, you would be required to expand that program into pre-K,” Irwin said.

If passed, the legislature is also considering an idea to help local communities make pre-K for three and four-year-olds a reality.

“He mentioned $50 million that is going to go into a fund hopefully that would allow local communities that are interested in early childhood issues to put money that they have to match it at the state level dollar for dollar,” explained Irwin.

Finally, the proposed budget would increase needs-based scholarships for higher education by $30 million.

“Given the poverty levels and our income levels in many parts of the state,” said Irwin. “We need to have help in needs-based support.”

It’s important to note that many of these proposals are in the early stages of the legislative process.

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