Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has told the Obama administration that the state would be interested in applying for federal preschool expansion grant funds, but not if the money requires connection to the Common Core State Standards.
The contents of Sept. 11 letter were reported by The Advocate newspaper, in Baton Rouge. Jindal, a Republican, said in the letter that the state wants to ensure that the Preschool Development Grant program “contains no terms that would require Louisiana to use Common Core-aligned or federally or nationally sanctioned standards in the classrooms of our state’s early childhood programs. For example, the grant’s Competitive Preference Priority 2 requires a smooth continuum of services to K-12 programs, which could implicate our early-childhood programs in the nationalization of curriculum. Please confirm that there are no such conditions.”
States had until Sept. 11, the date of Jindal’s letter, to notify the U.S. Department of Education of their “intent to apply” for the preschool grants. The is not mandatory, but it lets the department have an idea of the nationwide interest in the program. Though 32 states indicated their interest, Louisiana was not one of them.
Jindal has filed a federal lawsuit against the Education Department, saying that the agency is manipulating federal rules to get states to adopt the standards. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted the common core, which covers math and English/language arts.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.