News reports about Louisiana Children and LDOE, regarding the role of the Louisiana Department of Education (“LDOE“) in children’s lives and well-being.
| Just 1% of eligible students enroll in LA tutoring program , by Patrick Wall, The Advocate
In 2021, tests showed that more than half of young students in the state could not read at grade level. So lawmakers tried something drastic: They offered free private tutoring to every struggling reader who wanted it. An estimated 160,000 students in kindergarten through fifth grade qualified.
| Editorial: Audit lifts voices of special education parents | Our Views | nola.com
Not one line of the Louisiana Legislative auditor’s recent report on the Department of Education’s special education complaint system is shocking to parents of special needs kids. But the audit is important because, finally, there is documentation of issues parents say the state has long tried to ignore.
| Louisiana Dept. of Education failed to investigate 40% of disability complaints, audit finds by Wesley Muller, Louisiana Illuminator
The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) failed to investigate a significant number of formal complaints against schools not following federal laws to protect students with disabilities during the 2021-2022 school year, according to a new report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.
Auditors found state education officials investigated and resolved 61 complaints during the 2021-2022 school year but failed to properly address 42 others it received through its dispute resolution email. The department responded to nine of the emails but ignored 13 and couldn’t provide evidence of how they responded to 20 others.
Education officials refused to address the allegations in those 42 emails because the parents didn’t provide a signature along with their allegations, according to the audit.
Federal regulations require formal complaints to be made in writing and signed. But the state should have at least responded to the emails with an explanation of why it couldn’t review the allegations, the auditors noted.
Some of the allegations were potentially credible. The audit noted they “were similar to other allegations that were accepted by LDOE.”
“By not adequately responding to all allegations, the LDOE may cause parents to lose faith in the complaint process and fail to submit additional complaints in the future,” the audit said.
| Corporal punishment banned at Louisiana schools without parental consent by Claire Sullivan, Louisiana Illuminator
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed a bill that bans physical discipline at public elementary and secondary schools unless parents provide written permission.
State law currently allows public school teachers and administrators to use corporal punishment on students without parents’ permission. Such discipline includes “hitting, paddling, striking, spanking, slapping, or any other physical force that causes pain or physical discomfort,” according to the new law that goes into effect in August. It will also apply to nonpublic schools that receive state funds.
At least 27 of Louisiana’s 69 school systems have banned corporal punishment and at least 19 allowed it as of 2022, The Advocate reported in 2022.
| Editorial: Tough bill would tackle Louisiana’s reading problem. – Staff Editorial, The Advocate
A longtime head of Louisiana’s prison system once said he could predict the population of the jails years ahead of time, by looking at how many children had failed the third grade that year. Real success can change that dynamic, but it will take a considerable commitment.
| Latest data shows nearly half of all Louisiana children are truant from school by Johnette Magner, 3 Investigates | ktbs.com
According to the Louisiana Department of Education, 45% of Louisiana children were truant during the 2021-2022 school year. The state truancy rate during the 2018-2019 school year, prior to the onset of COVID, was only 36%.
Truancy rates in most Northwest Louisiana parishes are even higher than the state average. In the 2021-2022 school year, it was 55% in Bossier Parish, 56% in Caddo Parish, 56% in Natchitoches Parish, and 58% in Webster Parish.
Return for more news about Louisiana’s children and the LDOE. Louisiana Department of Education’s website, at LouisianaBelieves.com, is “built on the premise that Louisiana students are just as capable as any students in America, and that those closest to children – parents and teachers – are best positioned to help students achieve those expectations.”
Fina additional news about Louisiana’s children at Louisiana Children in the News.