Early childhood bill clears Senate

A proposal seeking to create a seamless network of early childhood education programs and standards for kindergarten readiness cleared the Senate without opposition.

Under Senate Bill 130 by state Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education would oversee all publicly-funded programs that provide education services to children from birth to age 5.

The bill would require BESE to establish and implement common standards for kindergarten readiness, assessment and accountability. The system would be in place by the 2015-2016 school year.

All public schools and school districts, as well as private schools or centers that receive public funds, would be required to be part of the network and have their programs graded for kindergarten readiness partly based on student evaluation.

The proposal now moves to the Louisiana House for consideration.