December 6, 2022

Dear Friends

Don’t forget to GEAUX VOTE Saturday! is your go-to resource for election information. Saturday there is a PSC race and 3 proposed constitutional amendments, one of which protects election integrity in Louisiana.

As a reminder, the so-called “Respect for Marriage” Act (which does not respect marriage at all) will return to the US House for a final vote - our last chance to amend religious protections into the reconciled version. Your voice and influence beyond Louisiana territories are needed now or it will likely pass, as it already did over the summer.  Click here to tell your US House members to vote NO on the (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act. Then forward this appeal to Pastors and church members in these critical states:

California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming


Last week, the Louisiana Department of Education released its annual Reading Report for children in kindergarten through third grade. The report revealed that older students are showing improvement, but younger children show a decline.

What’s the cause? Some think that “emergency” closures of schools and early learning centers coupled with mandatory masking delayed speech development and language acquisition.

Jeff Sadow writes: “The tail end of the cohort that caught the beginning of the pandemic restrictions in their crucial learning period are first graders today, while kindergartners are the first to bear the full brunt of restrictions. As it was, third graders scoring satisfactorily on reading were up 1.3 percent and second graders 1.9 percent, but first graders managed only a 0.6 percent gain in numbers and kindergartners dropped 2.3 percent.”

Public policy has consequences. 

Speaking of Which: BESE to Consider Federalized “Early Learning Standards”

The state Department of Education is recommending to BESE that the public comment period be extended another 20 days, starting Dec. 15, after opponents requested just such an extension at a hearing last week.

State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley, who has criticized the standards, said in a statement Monday the changes need more work. "My assumption is that our board will pass the early learning standards again as they did in August," Brumley said. "My position has been consistent in that I have concerns with the vague language, and I believe more time for revisions and adjustments could be considered," he said.

The standards written in overly broad terms, meaning implementation through curriculum and instructional materials is where problems are encountered. Parents and teachers from across America have raised legitimate concerns that groups like CASEL, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, promote the need for instruction on gender identity and racism. Clearly, advocates of these harmful theories aren’t satisfied with elementary and secondary instruction – early childhood years are now being targeted.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) empowers educators to focus on "politicized" morals, values, and beliefs as opposed to academic achievement. Clearly, history has taught that the government's idea of these "constructs" are often in direct opposition to that of parents. The Louisiana Children’s Code recognizes that moral values and beliefs are the sole responsibility of parents to teach not that of state or federal government. 

Concerned parents and members of the public have one more opportunity to weigh-in on this issue at the Academic Goals and Instructional Improvement Committee meeting beginning at 9:00 am Tuesday, December 13, 2022. The meeting will be held in the Claiborne Building,The Louisiana Purchase Room, at 1201 N. Third Street, Baton Rouge, 70802.


Yesterday, website designer Lorie Smith was at the US Supreme Court representing her business, 303 Creative, in a major religious freedom and free speech case and was capably represented by our allies at Alliance Defending Freedom. 

Several of the SCOTUS justices sparred with the attorneys from each side, but Justice Gorsuch memorably challenged Colorado Solicitor on the "re-education" program that Masterpiece Cakeshop's Jack Phillips was forced to undergo. From the Daily Caller:

“Mr. Philips did go through a reeducation training program pursuant to Colorado law, didn’t he Mr. Olsen,” Gorsuch asked. “It was a reeducation program right?”

Olsen denied that it was a “reeducation program” as the justice described.

“It was a process to make sure he was familiar with Colorado law,” Olsen argued.

Gorsuch didn’t appear convinced, “Someone might be excused for calling that a reeducation program.”

The question in this case is: should the government be able to force a business owner to create specific speech? The answer should be a resounding no!


Friend,don’t forget that prayer and participation are a powerful tool! We saw great victories in 2022: saving girls’ sports in Louisiana, the overturning of Roe, ending abortion in Louisiana; please pray for those victories to continue in 2023!

In His Service,

Gene Mills
President, Louisiana Family Forum


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