Title 17. Education

Chapter 1. General School Law

Part X-a. Louisiana Early Childhood Education

 

17:407.23       Early Childhood Care and Education Network; creation; components; duties and responsibilities

 

A. Not later than July 1, 2013, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, hereinafter called the state board, shall create a comprehensive and integrated network through which to manage and oversee all programs funded through state or federal resources that provide early childhood care or educational services.

 

B. To facilitate the creation of this network, the state board shall:

 

(1) Establish a definition of kindergarten readiness aligned with state content standards for elementary and secondary schools.

 

(2) Establish performance targets for children under the age of three and academic standards for kindergarten readiness for three- and four-year old children to be used in publicly-funded early childhood education programs.

 

(3)(a) Create a uniform assessment and accountability system for publicly- funded early childhood education programs that includes a letter grade indicative of student performance.

 

(b) The state board shall designate the 2015-2016 school year as an academic learning year in which a three-level rating system, not to be based on letter grades nor used for consequences, shall be used to create practice performance profiles for publicly funded sites and the community networks in which they are included. The state board and the state Department of Education shall specify in public communications that any ratings assigned during the 2015-2016 school year are practice ratings for the academic learning year. The state board shall submit a written report on the progress of the academic learning year to the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education not later than forty-five days prior to the 2016 Regular Session of the Legislature.

 

(4) Coordinate with the Department of Children and Family Services and the Department of Health and Hospitals to align the standards for the licensing of child care facilities, including the requirements for participation in the Louisiana Quality Start Child Care Rating System, with the standards established for early childhood education programs.

 

(5) Establish a timeline for the creation and implementation of the early childhood care and education network that shall be fully implemented by the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

 

C. (1) In creating this network, the state board, through the state Department of Education, shall work cooperatively and collaboratively with the Department of Children and Family Services and the Department of Health and Hospitals to establish a seamless early childhood educational system that is coordinated and integrated across all programs and related state agencies, regardless of public funding source.

 

(2)(a) The state Department of Education shall submit the plans and recommendations formulated by the impacted agencies to Louisiana’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, the Child Care Association of Louisiana, and the nonpublic school commission appointed by the state board pursuant to R.S. 17:11 for review and comment.

 

(b) Each reviewing entity shall submit its comments and recommendations to the state Department of Education, which shall prepare a summary report to be submitted to the state board for its consideration not later than January 1, 2013.

 

(3) By not later than March 1, 2013, the state board shall submit a written report to each member of the legislature, the Senate Committee on Education secretary, and the House Committee on Education secretary on the status of development of the early childhood care and education network. Such report shall include but not be limited to any recommendations relative to changes in law or administrative policy needed to properly implement the network.

 

Added by Acts 2012, No. 3, § 1, eff. April 18, 2012. Amended by Acts 2015, No. 364, § 1.