Louisiana Expands Choice for Families of Emerging Readers

$16.9 million U.S. Department of Education grant award will allow the money to follow the child.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the Louisiana Department of Education will receive a $16.9 million in new grant funding that will be directed toward rethinking education and better serving students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant will support Louisiana’s effort to create new and innovative approaches for students to continue learning in ways that meet their needs. Louisiana is one of 11 states to receive grant awards.

“Too often children are not proficient in reading by the third grade. COVID-19 has heightened that challenge,” said Ann Duplessis, Louisiana Federation for Children President and American Federation for Children Board Member. “This creative approach gives Louisiana families access to “micro-grants” and the freedom to choose sources of early literacy support from a list of quality, vetted providers.”

“This is how funding should work. We commend the Louisiana Department of Education, as this grant provides families with quality choices and supports kids where it is needed the most.”

“Ensuring every student can continue to learn during the coronavirus pandemic requires innovation from local education leaders and a laser-like focus on doing what’s right for students,” said Secretary DeVos. “This grant will help states adapt and overcome challenges to strengthen education both now and for the longer term. If we’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that the antiquated one-size-fits-all approach to education is no longer tenable and education going forward must be more adaptable and student-centered. I want to congratulate awardees for making the needed effort to rethink education on behalf of their students.”