According to the Southern Regional Education Board, Louisiana’s Children lagged all other southern states for high school graduation rates from 2016 to 2019. Louisiana also has the lowest 6-year graduation rates from 4-year public colleges. Outcomes like these do not occur by chance. Causes have effects.
For the generation of Louisiana’s Children who endured the state’s attack on k-12 education, the current “panic” by the legislature comes too late. Perhaps now that the Louisiana legislature has educated itself on the impact of its decade-long assault on educational funding, the opportunities for Louisiana’s Children will improve.
“We know that we have too many kids who by the second grade are not reading at grade level … and we don’t do a very good job of catching them up,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday during a press conference following the 2022 legislative session.
The literacy problem in Louisiana was clearly a point of emphasis for lawmakers this session. Sen. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, placed the blame on massive cuts to the education budget over the years.
“Louisiana K-12 education’s budget has been reduced 40% to 60% over the past 10 years, Jackson said, and that lawmakers who voted for those cuts are now panicked about the state’s bad early education outcomes.
Education investments from this year’s budget include $17 million dedicated early childhood programs, $27 million to early childhood support services and $159 million to higher education.”