Governor Bobby Jindal Announces Plan To Reform Early Childhood Education
BATON ROUGE, La. (KPEL) -- Gov. Bobby Jindal has unveiled his plans to reform the state's oftentimes confusing early childhood education system, outlining three steps to improving the much-maligned system.
According to a release sent to members of the media Thursday evening, Jindal's proposal implements legislation that was passed during the 2012 legislative session.
"Our current system isn't working," Jindal said. "It's confusing to parents and burdensome to providers."
“Only half of Louisiana’s children enter kindergarten ready to learn. We can change this situation if we have high standards for our earliest learners, clear information for parents, and support for teachers,” said Louisiana Department of Education Superintendent John White.
The first step to implementing the plan would be to create the Early Childhood Care and Education Network, a provision from last year's legislation that called on the Board of Secondary and Elementary Education to institute such a system by July 2013.
The network would transition the current quality rating letter grade system to the so-called Tiered Kindergarten Readiness Improvement System.
"It will require that all early childhood program providers that receive public funds participate in this system," according to the proposal.
The program would also streamline and centralize the enrollment system to provide better access for parents and providers.
The second step in Jindal's proposal maintains incentives that are currently offered to providers and staff and which are a part of the current tax system. Those incentives would transition to Jindal's proposed income tax reforms, providing a rebate where a tax credit is provided under the current system.
"By transitioning to a rebate, the legislation will align will align with the other changes proposed in the Governor's tax reform package," the release notes.
Third, Jindal's proposal streamlines the licensing requirements for network providers.