Earl K Long Closure Officialized, Education Changes Proposed
Lawmakers have put the final nail in the coffin to close LSU’s public hospital in North Baton Rouge. In Wednesday’s Joint Budget Committee, the Baton Rouge delegation pointed to gaps in care for pregnant women, prisoners and mental health services.
Sen. Sharon Broome said she was appalled that the decades-old initiative to revamp facilities at Earl K Long morphed into moving services. “And we tried our best to get a new facility," Broome said. "Administrations change, goals change. I understand that. But I am very concerned when goals change and people are not considered.”
Broome also said there was no way to stop closure because layoffs were already approved.
Both Senate and House Committees discussed possible changes to education regulations. The Senate committee moved a bill that would allow more advanced science, math, and English high school courses qualify for TOPS, the state-funded higher education scholarship program.
State Superintendent John White said that TOPS standards were lower than the Dept. of Education, and the change will align Higher Ed and DOE. “Thus achieving the goal of simplifying graduation from high school for parents, counselors, principals and children," White said, "and at the same time ensuring greater fidelity for success for the kids that are college bound.”
The House heard the results of a study on early childhood education. The report showed that children that took preschool performed better than kids that entered school straight into kindergarten up to the eighth grade. The study garnered support for Act 3, a law passed last year that stiffened regulations for preschools.