Louisiana Legislative Recap
By Michael Willis
The Louisiana Legislature Adjourned Sine Die on Tuesday, June 30th, and barring catastrophe will be gone for the rest of the summer. There is already talk that they will be reconvening for another Legislative Special Session in October. Now to our recap!
This Legislative Extraordinary Session was just that…….extraordinary. When the 40 bullet Legislative Call came out, The Center for Development & Learning was quite disappointed that early childhood education was not prioritized or even mentioned. With HB 559 by Rep. Royce Duplessis having failed in the regular session, we knew that this was a direct kick to the gut. Dr. Wyble’s leadership and tenacity pushed us to continue fighting and exhaust all options. If we were going to get this done, we had to turn over every stone. In the early days of June CDL Staff met with:
- Richard Hartley – Gov. Edwards Director of Education Policy
- Superintendent Cade Brumley
- Senate President Pro Temp. Beth Mizell
- Senate Finance Chairman Bodi White
- We had a round table with Rep. Duplessis with the Dept. of Ed.,
and the Childcare Association of Louisiana
These efforts indeed turned out to be quite fruitful, as HB 1 was amended in the Senate Finance committee to allocate $2,061,500 from the State General Fund towards the Early Literacy Pilot Program. Superintendent Brumley has expressed sincere interest, and has mentioned in the education committee how important literacy is to him.
The Center for Development and Learning’s victories don’t stop there. Rep. Duplessis also authored House Resolution 55 “to request BESE to study the history of racism, its effects on public education, and anti-racism education and create a task force to develop recommendations to implement such education.” Our newest staff member, DeJunne’ Jackson went to the table to testify about her experience on the national level with Black Literacy Matters. She gave a powerful testimony, and represented The Center for Development and Learning exceptionally. Her testimony can be found here, at the 11:15 mark: https://house.louisiana.gov/H_Video/VideoArchivePlayer?v=house/2020/jun/0629_20_ED
The CDL Team worked tirelessly to promote the importance of early childhood literacy, and is grateful to have the opportunity to work for such a crucial cause. To all those who helped this Legislative Session, we sincerely thank you!
Director of Public Policy