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Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Applauds Board of Elementary and Secondary Education For Their Leadership

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Applauds Board of Elementary and Secondary Education For Their Leadership

BATON ROUGE, LA (Aug. 30, 2022)  – The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (“LPIC”) applauds the leadership of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for their leadership following an 8-2 vote on Early Learning Development Standards. After several hours of public comment from parents, child care providers, child development researchers, and child advocates, BESE Board Vice-President Kira Orange-Jones made a substitute motion to approve the standards rather than delay their consideration. Board member Preston Castille seconded the motion.

The updated standards, which the Louisiana Department of Education leadership had noticed only as a report, was presented on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. These proposed revisions will now be published for additional public comment before formally being made into a rule.

Dr. Libbie Sonnier, executive director of LPIC, served as chair of the committee that revised the original early learning development standards, which were first implemented by BESE in 2013. “The Early Learning Development Standards are a crucial part of the state’s early care and education system, and an accountability system that ranks in the top 10 of the nation,” said Dr. Sonnier. In addition to leading LPIC, Dr. Sonnier studies the impact of quality early care and education on a person’s life course and is an associate clinical professor at Mississippi State University.

The Early Learning Development Standards went through a year-long review process, which included a public comment period, several public hearings and was unanimously endorsed by the state’s Early Care and Education Advisory Council and the Superintendents’ Advisory Council. However, they had also become a recent point of controversy for certain individuals who incorrectly linked the long-standing and robustly researched concepts to socialism and critical race theory.

“Social emotional development is not just a key component of childhood–it’s the foundation to adulthood and success in the workforce,” said Michael Olivier, CEO, Committee of 100 and LPIC board member. Mr. Olivier attended the BESE meeting but was unable to make public comments due to the length of the meeting. “Many business executives have noted that too many employees and job applicants lack adequate communication skills, the ability to cooperate, and the ability to overcome challenges. Louisiana early learning development standards will teach young children valuable skills that will help them achieve success in school and well beyond into the workforce.”

To learn more about the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, please visit https://policyinstitutela.org/.

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About LPIC

The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that Louisiana’s young children, from birth to age four, are best prepared for success in school and in life. The Policy Institute develops policy proposals informed by data, research, best practices and the experiences of other states to improve the outcomes of Louisiana’s youngest citizens, and further provides educational and outreach activities based on recommended policy solutions. The organization works to ensure children are safe, healthy and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. For more information, visit www.policyinstitutela.org and follow the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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