Text SHARON to 20406

Request the Nursing Supply and Demand Council to study and make recommendations to improve statewide nurse retention in response to the nursing workforce shortage.

Provides for school choice to allow high school students pursuing a career/technical path to attend another high school in their school district if their high school does not offer the desired program.  Students are able to both graduate from high school and earn an industry-based credential, associate degree, or an apprenticeship while in high school and enter the workforce upon graduation.

Allows high schools to offer computer coding as a foreign language choice to meet the high school graduation requirements and TOPS requirements.

Required the Board of Regents to conduct a comprehensive review of our present post secondary education system and to recommend the optimal delivery of post-secondary education in the future that will meet the needs of the state's citizens and industries, while maximizing the state's resources.  This bill was the foundation for additional legislation in the areas of workforce and career readiness, college and career preparation, academic programs, and faculty.  The lack of a governance review led to SB43 of 2018 RS.  

Co-authored a bill with Sen Appel to eliminate all of the higher education management boards except one.

Establishes the Computer Science Education Act, which requires that computer science skills be taught in K-12 grade to provide our students with the skills they need to compete in a digital economy.  Work is underway to develop the curriculum and train the teachers.  Louisiana has fallen behind the rest of the country, as only 29% of our high schools offer computer science classes as part of their curriculum.

Requests the State Department of Education to recreate the Louisiana Early Literacy Commission to study and make recommendations relative to improving reading proficiency for our younger students.

Tackled our state’s literacy problem by establishing phonics, or the “science of reading,” as the methodology for teaching reading.  The Superintendent called this the most comprehensive literacy bill in recent history.  It includes a new K-2 accountability system, universal screeners performed three times a year to identify reading gaps, interventions for teacher and parents to improve reading skills, and a new higher education curriculum for teaching the “science of reading.” 

Creates the Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (LaSTEM) Advisory Council to oversee the creation, delivery, and promotion of STEM education programs and to align them with the future workforce needs of STEM industries to provide jobs for our citizens in high-demand, high-paying careers.  In addition, LaSTEM will focus on encouraging and training more women to enter STEM careers, shrinking the gender pay gap.  Successes to date include the annual Festival de Robotique, a FIRST robotics competition for 300 students from around the state on the grounds of the Louisiana State Capitol.  Other accomplishments include a new STEM diploma endorsement for high school students who have taken and passed the required number of approved STEM classes and free tuition for K-12 teachers interested in additional college training in STEM. The First Annual Stem Summit was held ept 2018 to facilitate the development of regional master plans between industry partners and educational institutions that will prepare our citizens for high-paying, high-demand, Louisiana jobs.   

Created an Education Savings Account (ESA) to give parents more choice in the best educational setting for their child.  This bill would allow parents with a K-3 child reading below grade level to move their child to a private, parochial, or homeschool and use their state education dollars to offset the costs.

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