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Education reform bills clear Louisiana House

by Minden Press-Herald

BATON ROUGE, La. – Legislation designed to expand educational savings accounts for parents and students in Louisiana passed favorably in the House of Representatives today by a vote of 71-32.  House Bill (HB) 745 by Representative Julie Emerson received bi-partisan support from the chamber and builds upon a number of education reform bills being adopted by the house so far this session.

Bills focused on education savings accounts and teacher quality now head to the Senate for consideration before heading to the Governor for his signature. Additional instruments focused on literacy and education finance await consideration by House committees.

Speaker of the House Phillip DeVillier says Louisiana’s educational rankings have been near the bottom for decades and legislators across the state are making education reform a top priority.

“These bills support our teachers and our students,” said Speaker DeVillier. “By focusing on education reform we have the chance give young people every opportunity for success in school.” 

“HB 745 will empower parents to make the best educational choices for their children,” said Rep. Julie Emerson.

Additional educational bills already receiving favorable passage in the House include:

·         HB 320 by Rep. Chuck Owen repeals policies requiring teachers to teach supplemental topics outside of the basic curriculum in schools until a review by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education can be conducted.

·         HB 647 by Rep. Troy Romero reduces the training requirements for educators giving them more time to focus on teaching adopted curriculums.

Meanwhile, several education-focused bills are actively moving through the committee process in the House:

·         HB 143 by Rep. Tony Bacala authorizes the state superintendent of education to hire a chief operating officer to make recommendations to local school systems about complying with the MFP’s minimal instruction expenditure requirement.

·         HB 244 by Rep. Jason Hughes expands the Steve Carter Literacy Program to include educational services in math and boosts the scholarship amount from $1,000 to $1,500.

·         HB 267 by Rep. Kim Carver provides for an annual math assessment of all students in kindergarten to third grade to screen for proficiency.

The 2024 Regular Legislative Session must adjourn no later than Monday, June 3rd at 6pm.

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