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La.'s pre-K pilot will include Caddo and Rapides parishes

Caddo and Rapides parishes are among 15 selected to participate in a pilot program to develop an early childhood network that would provide 3- and 4-year-olds with equal access to high-quality instruction. State Superintendent John White told reporters yesterday that the parishes will share in a $2.6 million grant.

“We need to end the process of hunting around for a pre-K education," White said. "It’s not fair to families. It’s not fair to kids. By establishing one network, we’ll be able to list all of the options with all of the best information for parents.”

White said about 23,000 pre-kindergartners will participate in the pilot program aimed at overhauling the system this fall. Under the plan, local school districts, Head Start programs and civic groups will partner to create community networks and develop standards for quality classes.