Nov 25, 2019

New Orleans City Council Dedicates $3 Million to Expanding Access to Early Learning,
While Governor Reiterates Commitment to State Funding in Second Term

BATON ROUGE, La. -- As part of its adoption of the city's annual operating budget, the New Orleans City Council today dedicated $3 million--double what was committed last year--toward the expansion of local access to high quality early childhood education in 2020. This money will fund at least 150 seats for in-need children and provide additional supports and resources to the early learning centers that serve them.

In addition, during a press conference today, newly re-elected Gov. John Bel Edwards committed to prioritizing early childhood education funding in his second term. 

State Superintendent John White released the following statement praising these actions:

"Since the passage of Act 3 in 2012, Louisiana's child cares, Head Starts, and pre-kindergartens have successfully implemented policies to create a unified early care and education system that supports children and families. Those policy changes have boosted our state to No.8 in the nation for its early childhood education system, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, and have improved the overall quality of our state's early learning centers.

But as the quality of our early learning centers has climbed, the number of working families able to access them has dwindled. This need is particularly strong among the families of infants, toddlers, and three-year olds, for whom minimal services are available.

New Orleans has been a pioneer in helping narrow this access gap at the local level by committing local dollars to serving our youngest learners and our working families. Today's action to double the city's investment from last year should be applauded across Louisiana.

Governor Edwards should also be commended for today reiterating his commitment to prioritizing early childhood education, among other education initiatives, in the state's budget in 2020 and beyond."

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