BATON ROUGE, LA – The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR) has released a report on Early Childhood Education, “Start Strong! The Case for Priority Investment in Louisiana Early Childhood Programs,” that proposes long-term funding for the state’s most vulnerable population.
“No more excuses, Louisiana. The evidence and opportunity are clear. Research has shown that the quality of care and education during children’s early years will influence their life outcomes as well as the condition of the society and workplaces of their generation.”Dr. Steven Procopio, PAR Policy Director
So far, state funding has been an unreliable hodgepodge of partially used tax credits, marginal revenue from gambling activity and settlements for drug addiction lawsuits, plus the occasional windfall of federal largesse. We evidently are banking our youngest citizens’ well-being – and our state’s future – on the expectation that more people in Louisiana will gamble and use drugs. There is widespread popular support for early childhood education but it clearly is not being made a state priority. If it was it would be funded by the state.
This report by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana provides an overview of the evolution and current structure of an ambitious proposed program for early childhood care and education. It examines the governance model and financial mechanisms already designed for the program and recommends a stronger way forward.
Among the report’s recommendations:
The report contains supplemental sections covering national and state studies and resources supporting good governance practices. Other sections catalog funding resources.
A reader of this report will be well versed with objective information and ideas to discuss this issue constructively and help move the state and its children forward.