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Refusal to Compete for Early Childhood Education Funds

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., sent a letter to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal today pressing him to explain the state's decision not to submit an application for funds available through the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge. The refusal to apply for the funds comes despite the fact that experts from across Louisiana collaborated for several months to produce an application.

"The Early Learning Challenge competition presented Louisiana with a wonderful opportunity to receive up to $60 million to support the good, but incomplete, work going on at the state and local level in early childhood education," Sen. Landrieu wrote. "Experts agree that early childhood education is a smart investment in our children's success. As you are most certainly aware, one-third of all children under the age of five in Louisiana live in poverty. You must agree that they need every opportunity to advance and move ahead, so it is puzzling to me how Louisiana could have passed up this opportunity. Your decision not to even compete for these funds is one that will have a negative impact on thousands of children in our state. I hope your reasons for failing to apply for these funds are strong enough to justify these consequences."

To read the full letter to Gov. Jindal, please visit

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