Education

Every child should have access to a high-quality education, ensuring every Louisiana resident has a chance to succeed. Louisiana cannot have a bright economic future without a workforce equipped with the skills and training necessary to compete in a 21st century economy. Revamping Louisiana’s educational system stands as an economic imperative—and a moral one too.

Louisiana High School Diplomas: The Latest Participation Trophies?

Louisiana High School Diplomas: The Latest Participation Trophies?

Last week, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education called an emergency meeting to consider waivers of state graduation requirements for the Class of 2022. Current graduation requirements, in place for well over a decade, require students to score an “Approaching Basic” level – two full levels below what is considered proficient – on...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

Mo’ Money, Less Transparency?

Mo’ Money, Less Transparency?

Earlier this week, Louisiana’s House of Representatives Education Committee heard House Bill 526 by Representative Rick Edmonds, which would require all local public school systems to post certain fiscal information online. The bill would provide parents and the public with easy access to school budgets, revenue and expenditure reports, contracts, and audits to help them...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

Don’t Believe the Lies: ESAs Don’t Defund Public Schools

Don’t Believe the Lies: ESAs Don’t Defund Public Schools

This legislative session, state lawmakers have filed several bills to give families more options for their child’s education in the form of new education savings accounts (ESAs). Several of those bills – HB 33 (children in military families, foster care, and D- and F-rated schools), HB 194 (students with disabilities), HB 452 (bullied students), and...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

How Well is Louisiana Preparing Students for Careers?

How Well is Louisiana Preparing Students for Careers?

For years, business and industry have complained that high school graduates aren’t arriving to the workplace prepared with basic skills needed for entry-level jobs. That may explain why unemployment among 16-24-year-olds has historically been higher than older workers. According to the Economic Policy Institute, in early 2019, the unemployment rate for workers ages 16–24 (8.4%)...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

Legislature Files Education Savings Account (ESA) Bills to Expand Educational Options

Legislature Files Education Savings Account (ESA) Bills to Expand Educational Options

The Louisiana Legislature has filed several bills to expand educational choice among its proposals for the 2022 legislative session. These bills create education savings accounts (ESAs), which enable families to access public funds earmarked for their children’s education in a public school and use those funds to pay for private school tuition or a customized...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

Let’s Look at Tutoring and Recovery of Learning Loss

Let’s Look at Tutoring and Recovery of Learning Loss

This week’s State of the Union address by President Biden included a brief mention of education that some may not have flagged as all that important. After all, it was one of several items on a long list of accomplishments the President touted to show that he and Congress responded to the needs of the...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

BESE Workgroup Identifies Problems in Louisiana’s K-12 Education Accountability System; Potential Solutions Discussed

BESE Workgroup Identifies Problems in Louisiana’s K-12 Education Accountability System; Potential Solutions Discussed

Last week, a subgroup of State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) members tasked by the full board to study Louisiana’s K-12 education accountability system had its first public meeting. The group is reviewing information tied to the current accountability system, which was implemented in the 2017-2018 school year, to determine the extent to...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

Let’s Give Our Children Hope

Let’s Give Our Children Hope

Hope: Noun. “Desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) Ask any parent what hope means for their child, and they certainly won’t need a dictionary. They’ll quickly tell you that it represents the life they want for their kid. Opportunity. The chance to grow up and have more options than their...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

As Education Budgets Grow, We Should Increase Transparency

As Education Budgets Grow, We Should Increase Transparency

Two weeks ago, Governor Edwards unveiled his proposed state budget for fiscal year 2022-2023. Given the state’s $1.6 billion surplus, the proposal contains several funding increases, including in education. The proposal calls for an additional $148 million for K-12 teacher and staff pay raises as well as $43 million for early childhood, $17 million of...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

It’s Time To Empower Louisiana Families

It’s Time To Empower Louisiana Families

For years, people have pointed to parental involvement as the best way to improve K-12 education, yet state and local policies often limit or discourage parents from truly being involved. Instead, the government often tells parents when and how they want them to interact with their community school, assigning their children to one campus program...

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

What Enrollment Trends Can Tell Us About School Choice

What Enrollment Trends Can Tell Us About School Choice

Around this time last year, you probably saw the news about Louisiana public school enrollment dropping by just over 2 percent or nearly 17,000 students since the pandemic began. Following weeks of school closures in 2020 and a chaotic 2020-2021 school year that overwhelmed and frustrated students, parents, and educators alike, it was no surprise....

By Erin Bendily, Ph.D.

Our Work Isn’t Done: Let’s Empower Parents in 2022

Our Work Isn’t Done: Let’s Empower Parents in 2022

This summer, I penned an article in response to a national study conducted about the ability of parents to address their child’s educational needs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The study revealed that when their child’s education was disrupted, many families simply did not have the ability to act and seek other educational options. As we...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

Statement: The Pelican Institute Congratulates The Newly Elected BESE Officers

Statement: The Pelican Institute Congratulates The Newly Elected BESE Officers

BATON ROUGE— CEO of the Pelican Institute, Daniel Erspamer released the following statement after new officers were elected for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). “Congratulations to BESE members Jim Garvey, Kira Orange Jones, and Sandy Holloway for being elected to serve as officers of BESE. We thank former president Sandy Holloway for...

By Ryan Roberts

Parents Deserve More Transparency

Parents Deserve More Transparency

More transparency leads to better decisions. In all areas of government, we know this to be true. But this fact is especially important when it comes to making decisions that dictate the success of our children. However, in Louisiana, parents have scant access to valuable financial data for our schools. Therefore parents, key decision-makers and...

By John Kay