Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that he is proposing new funding for early childhood education be included in the state budget. The total new state effort being proposed is approximately $18M in House Bill 105.
“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 Gov. 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.”
Gov. Edwards’ proposal for the $18M includes:
$8.8M to continue funding 1,800 4 year-olds due to the expiration of a federal grant. This includes $4M in new dollars plus $4.8M that has been identified by the Dept. of Education in existing funds due to the change in the delivery of services in the LA-4 program.
$2.3M to raise the rate of current classroom seats. This will help maintain the existing CCAP federal grant.
$6.8M 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.