BATON ROUGE - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards was elected chair of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) at the organization’s annual meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas. Gov. Edwards succeeds Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, 2015-16 SREB chair and head of SREB's Commission on Computer Science and Information Technology.

“As the new Chair of SREB, I am looking forward to elevating the dialogue in Louisiana and other member states around the importance of strengthening student learning and preparedness at every educational level,” said Gov. Edwards. “Louisiana, in particular, is at a turning point when it comes to funding for education, and SREB has the distinction of being the only regional organization that spans early childhood through higher education. The partnerships established by this organization will be invaluable to Louisiana and the entire region as we work to reinvest in education to provide students the opportunity to succeed.”

“We are grateful for Gov. Edwards’ leadership on behalf of education in our states,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “This is a particularly important time as SREB commissions explore teacher preparation and continue to focus on college affordability.”

As chair of SREB’s 80-member Board, Gov. Edwards will lead the collaborative work of governors, legislators and state education leaders to improve public education at every level, from early childhood through doctoral education. Board chairs are elected to one-year terms. Gov. Edwards will also serve as chair of SREB’s Commission on Teacher Preparedness.

The SREB Board works with states to improve public education at every level, from early childhood through doctoral education. We help policymakers make informed decisions by providing independent, accurate data and recommendations. The board helps educators strengthen student learning and preparedness by sharing proven practices and scarce resources.

SREB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Atlanta. The 16 member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. SREB's work is funded by member appropriations, as well as by contracts and grants from foundations and from local, state, and federal agencies. More information SREB is available by clicking here.