BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards is trying to get more money for early education added into the state budget. The money is included as part of House Bill 105.
He’s proposing an extra $18-million to help get more children into classrooms earlier. Edwards says because the state’s economy is improving, Louisiana is in a better position to make this happen.
“We know children who have access to early childhood education have a leg up, and when kids start off ready to learn the better off they are going to be and so will our state,” said Edwards. “With this proposal, we will fill more seats next year and help eliminate the performance gap for children of parents who struggle financially to provide the best education for their children they can. Thankfully, because we have stabilized our state budget and our economy is improving we are in a position to make this a reality. I believe this is something that we can do by working together and that it is something we must do for the sake of our children.”
Edwards’ proposal includes:
- $8.8 million to continue funding 1,800 4-year-olds due to the expiration of a federal grant. This includes $4 million in new dollars plus $4.8 million that has been identified by the Department of Education in existing funds due to the change in the delivery of services in the LA-4 program.
- $2.3 million to raise the rate of current classroom seats. This will help maintain the existing Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) federal grant.
- $6.8 million to provide for additional seats for birth to 3-year-olds in the CCAP program. This covers approximately 1,100 seats or 20 percent of the need of 5,632.