LAE Commends Governor Edwards for Supporting Kids, Not Cuts, in His Mid-Year Budget Deficit Proposal
LAE President Debbie Meaux announced the association’s support of Governor Edwards’ proposal to balance Louisiana’s 2016-17 budget shortfall. Meaux said LAE members stand behind the Governor in his efforts to work with lawmakers in thoroughly examining options to avoid harmful cuts to public schools and other vital state services.
“I think I speak for thousands of educators and parents across Louisiana when I say I am proud of our Governor for his unwavering commitment to oppose school funding cuts,” Meaux said. “It is imperative that we protect all funds dedicated to our schools to ensure a promising future for Louisiana’s children.”
Governor Edwards presented a plan to Louisiana’s Joint Budget Committee at the end of January, which included tapping into the state’s Rainy Day Fund and cuts to certain state departments. The proposal emphasized the Governor’s opposition to reducing K-12 public education funding (the per pupil allocation of the MFP), the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Children and Family Services. The Governor also announced his plan for a special session to focus on exploring additional solutions to the state’s financial woes. Meaux said LAE leaders plan to focus on steadfast advocacy efforts in support of maintaining school funding, at all costs.
Just last week, association leaders introduced a campaign called Kids Not Cuts, urging members, as well as the public, to write letters to Governor Edwards asking him to oppose reductions to school funding. The campaign received a major response with hundreds of letters sent in a short time frame. The association will continue the campaign through the upcoming special and regular legislative sessions to bring awareness to the vital importance of protecting funding for K-12 public schools.
“We will be vigilant in insisting that legislators focus on kids, not cuts, this legislative season,” Meaux said. “Protecting dollars for education is the state’s best bet for a promising future. Adequately funded schools allow for reduced class sizes, up-to-date educational resources, and access to needed student support services.Providing all students with the ability to thrive in their educational journeys is the right thing to do, and every Louisiana child deserves this basic opportunity, regardless of their circumstance.”
LAE lobbyists will soon announce the association’s agenda for the 2017 Legislative Season, which, in addition to the Kids Not Cuts school funding campaign, will focus on school accountability and testing reform.