Overall, this was a major movement to open opportunities for parents, a consistent theme of everything a public school does then so should the private, a consistent support from the legislature to provide autonomy for private schools.

There was acknowledgement the significant improvement in public education ratings for Louisiana from 49th to 40th, a movement to Let Teachers Teach by potentially removing training requirements and leaving it up to BESE to decide.

Funding for Required Services and School Lunch Salary Supplement

Through advocacy from CEC, we are to keep the same amount of funding for Required Services, School Lunch Salary Supplement and Textbooks for 20 million the prior three years. This year the additional 1 million we got for Required Services was removed.

Non-Public School Related

• SB 313 is the Educational Savings Account bill that has been sent to the Governor. It includes a framework supportive of non-public schools that includes the ability to use nationally referenced norm testing and admission criteria. Currently there will be study of all schools, by DOE and BESE, with a report due in December 2024. This will include all types of capacities, income levels, and scores to better assess what BESE/DOE will recommend for Appropriations for the 2025 Session.

o There are no funding amounts other than the current Scholarship program students. As it stands, the families at 250% of the poverty guidelines along with the Scholarship students are included in the first year. Every year depending on BESE, requests will be made to Appropriations each year. There is no universal choice timeline or funding at this point.

Curriculum Related
• HB 264/Act 211 will require a unit of Computer Science in the 2029 school year. It is not a Carnegie unit, however. There will not be a TOPs requirement.

Administration Related
• HB 456/Act 378 will require Narcan in all schools and training and administration. This is to mitigate overdoses while on school facilities.

• SB 310/Act 311 will require the # 988 Suicide Help Line. Adds current requirement for ID’s and adds each non-public must post on their website.

• SB 54 requires CPR/AED any high school employee who coaches to be certified in CPR, First Aid, AED and related

• HB 252 addresses information to parents on cardiac health of student athletes. The school board must provide information to parents of all the requirements to participate in sports if the student has health issues and the parent must sign off.

  • • HB 598 School Breakfast and Lunch program did not make it out because of costs.

Vaccinations

  • Rep. Kathy Edmonston, R-Baton Rouge, succeeded in gaining approval for two measures that reinforce parents’ existing ability to let their school-age children opt out of mandated vaccinations.
    • One specifically singles out the COVID-19 on the state-approved list for required immunization. Current law already allows families to bypass any vaccine for medical or religious reasons.

The other proposal calls on schools to notify parents that their children can forego vaccines. Critics note there’s no corresponding information going out to families explaining how vaccines work or the importance in limiting outbreaks of highly contagious diseases.

Public School Related

• HB 320 Let Teachers Teach
• SB 123 allows chaplains in public schools.
• HB 71 would have required non-public schools to post the 10 Commandments in every classroom. We were able to get an amendment to exclude non-public schools.
• HB 601 requires parental notification of use of uncertified teachers.
• SB 288 approves a Parental Bill of Rights
• HB 107 prohibits the use of taping of mouths of students for disciplinary purposes.

Other Public School Related
There were several bills limiting cell phone use, more teacher support with removal of student with discipline problems, addressing the significant truancy problem, and likely approval of another “stipend” of $2000 for teacher and $1500 for support workers in the public school system.