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Jun 7, 2013 7:15 PM by Akeam Ashford

Lafayette Parish Drops LA 4 Program

More budget constraints put the Lafayette Parish School Board(LPSS) in a tough position. The school board was forced to cut LA 4 pre-kindergarten-before and after school program. The LA 4 pre-kindergarten program began in 2001 with the passage of Senate Bill 776 in order to serve four-year-old children not currently enrolled in publicly funded pre-kindergarten classes.

Director of Early Childhood Education, Christine Duay, says the parish held out on cutting the program as long as they could. "Most of the surrounding districts cut the before and after program quite a few years ago. We were one of the last remaining
districts in this area and one of only a handful in the state that still offered it," says Duay.

Rachel Cormier sent her oldest daughter through the program last year. Cormier says because her daughter enjoyed the program so much, she wanted to send her middle child next year. "She's actually attending the UL gifted program this summer, because she was at such a high level," says Cormier.

As a single parent, the program allowed Cormier the flexibility to work fulltime and provide her children with a good education.
"When this program came about I jumped on it. I know she'll be at school, I know she'll be well
provided for and well taken care," Says Cormier.

Duay says education quality across the parish won't suffer. Dropping the before and after school program allows the parish to offer students what she calls, quote "The important parts of LA 4." "The quality 6 hrs, you're still going to have your teachers and assistants with the 10:1 ratio, and that program has stayed in place," says Duay.

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