Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards highlighted that $13.54 million in funding for early childhood education would be added to his budget proposal, including replacing $8.78 million in lost federal funding and an additional $4.76 million in new funding.
“Our children are one of the most important groups we can invest in, which is why we have prioritized finding additional funding for Early Childhood Education in our amended budget, including replacing some federal funding that the Louisiana Department of Education was losing,” Gov. Edwards said. “In addition to the funding included in my original proposal, today we committed $13.54 million in funding for programs that put our children on the path to lifelong learning and healthy development. The additional investment in education, from early childhood all the way through college is possible because our budget is stabilized and our economy is improving in Louisiana.”
The Edwards administration is proposing amendments to shore up the state’s early childhood education program. Dollars will be allocated to replace an $8.78 million federal grant that is going away so that funding to serve 1,800 4-year-olds continues. The Department of Education has identified $4.8 million to help replace funding that is going away and the administration would allocate the other $4 million. In addition, the administration is proposing $2.26 million to raise the rates for classroom seats and $2.5 million for slots for primarily 0-3 year-olds.
Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne introduced the funding amendments today in the Senate Finance Committee.