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LAE Leaders Applaud Governor Edwards on Establishment of ESSA Advisory Council

BATON ROUGE, LA – May 26, 2016 – Through the signing of an Executive Order Thursday, Governor John Bel Edwards established a Louisiana advisory council on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) - the new federal education law that recently reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Louisiana Association of Educators President Debbie Meaux, Executive Director Lynda Guidry, and Legislative Director Shane Riddle joined the governor as he made the order official.

“The ESSA aspires to give Louisiana parents, educators, and communities a voice when it comes to decisions impacting Louisiana’s children,” said LAE President Debbie Meaux. “We’d like to thank Governor Edwards for acknowledging the input of such important public education stakeholders; this is the first step toward greater excellence in our state’s public schools.”

“I believe that a strong public education system is essential to the well-being of Louisiana children and communities,” said Governor Edwards. “Each and every student deserves equitable access to a quality public education that prepares them for college, career, and citizenship. The council created through my executive order is tasked with studying the Every Student Succeeds Act so that we implement this new law in the very best interest of our children.”

Educators in Louisiana welcomed the end of No Child Left Behind and the beginning of a new era in public education when President Obama signed the ESSA into law late last year. Because the law does away with federal mandates on everything from student assessment to evaluation, it is now up to individual states to determine how the new law will be implemented. Governor Edwards officially announced his intentions to organize an advisory council of 15 at-large members, who will be responsible for conducting an extensive review of the ESSA in order to make recommendations on specific actions surrounding its enactment in Louisiana. Leaders of the LAE believe that committed teachers, school administrators, parents, and communities must all come together on any effort to design accountability systems that stand to impact the educational well-being of Louisiana’s public school kids.

“With the proper implementation of this new law, we have a chance to get it right for Louisiana’s children. We are confident that these new mandates will restore the proper balance between the respective roles of the federal, state, and local governments; and we’re happy to see that Louisiana citizens will have more freedom when it comes to making decisions that best reflect the distinctive culture and unique needs of the kids who live here,” Meaux said.

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