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Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy.

Early childhood education advocates ask lawmakers to restore funding

The Louisiana State Capitol on April 4, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La.
Stephen Smith
The Louisiana State Capitol on April 4, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La.

Early childhood education advocates are asking state Senators to backfill a proposed funding cut made under the House budget.

The $24 million reduction was made before lawmakers received an updated budget forecast, increasing the state general fund for this year by nearly $200 million. Lawmakers can access just under half of that without busting the state’s spending cap.

That’s enough money to restore the funding to early education if they want. They could also use some of the money to raise teacher stipends back to the original amount of $2,000.

Several other groups, including mental health and disability advocates, are also asking Senators for additional funding. Lawmakers must pass a budget before the regular session ends on June 3.

Molly Ryan is a political reporter and covers state politics from the Louisiana Capitol.

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