Leaders from around the state celebrated Early Education Day at the Louisiana State Capitol on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. CFNLA’s own Kristi Gustavson was honored to be among speakers Governor John Bel Edwards, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley, and Stephen Waguespack, President & CEO of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI). The speakers addressed critical issues and proposed solutions for Early Childhood Education in our state. The event was organized by the Ready Louisiana Coalition, a bipartisan, statewide coalition of businesses, advocacy organizations, early care and education professionals, parents and citizens seeking sufficient investment in quality, affordable early care and education in Louisiana.
During Kristi’s remarks, she addressed the state of Early Childhood Education in Caddo Parish, including the fact that in 60% of students were not kindergarten-ready in 2019. She also highlighted the community’s commitment to raising dollars for CFNLA’s Early Childhood Education Fund and share the exciting news that $1 million has now been raised by private donors in North Louisiana! CFNLA will use this fund to seek a dollar-for-dollar State of Louisiana match. Up to $2 million will then be available to fund scholarships for low-income Caddo children ages 0 to 4 to attend quality early childcare and education Type III centers.
According to LABI’s Stephen Waguespack, “Early Education is not a Republican-Democrat issue, it’s not a north or south issue, it’s not a rural or urban issue. This impacts every family, every student, every individual in Louisiana.” He goes on to state, “Early education is the name of the game. And anything we can do to invest in it, promote it, and expand it is going to benefit all of our citizens – not just those starting school – but all those who are depending on those students to be the future leaders of Louisiana.”
CFNLA is honored to be a leader in this important initiative in Caddo Parish and the entire state. Learn more about our Early Childhood Education Fund at cfnla.org/ece.
Click here to watch the entire press conference. Kristi’s remarks begin at 49:35.