Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, M.S. SpEd
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education recently decided that Louisiana preschool teachers in publicly funded childcare centers will soon need to complete specific educational training. No education or training requirements for these teachers currently exists.
Specifically, the Board determined that preschools teachers in public preschools must complete classes to learn about the care and development of young children. They must also secure, at a minimum, an associate’s degree in child development and become credentialed by 2019.
New Changes to Louisiana’s Publicly Funded Preschool Program
This latest move by the Board is just one of many behind a statewide push to improve the state’s preschool programs.
Other changes in Act 3 of the 2012 legislative session include the Education Department taking over the management of preschool programs, the implementation of academic report cards, and the coordination of preschool enrollment.
The legislation only applies to preschools that accept public funding, such as those enrolled in the Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program.
Differing Views on the Mandated Education for Public Preschool Teachers
Education Superintendent John White said this new legislation would maintain a high standard of excellence in Louisiana schools.
Opponents of the new legislation say that many childcare educators may have difficulty affording the required schooling. Others say that once preschool teachers earn a teaching credential, preschools may have difficulty affording to pay them.
Further, some are concerned that once preschool teachers earn a teaching credential, they won’t stay, instead choosing to head to public school pre-K programs, which often provide better pay and benefits.