Louisiana, France renew educational, professional agreement
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Officials from France and Louisiana have renewed an agreement to collaborate on educational and professional initiatives, the lieutenant governor’s office said Monday.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, French Consul General Vincent Sciama, and representatives from the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana and the state Department of Education signed the agreement, a news release said.
“So much of Louisiana’s appeal as a travel destination is our cultural heritage, and a big part of our history is our French culture. This collaboration with France is a tremendous economic and strategic asset for Louisiana,” Nungesser said.
“The benefits of learning multiple languages extend beyond the ability to travel the globe or to communicate with diverse populations,” he said. “This will give our students a wider range of opportunities in the job market, business, music, anything they want to move forward with in their life.”
The agreement was first signed in 1968 and now extends through 2024. The state says the accords support French immersion programs in Louisiana.
The signing ceremony was in the Cabildo in New Orleans, just outside the room where the Louisiana Purchase was finalized, transferring Louisiana from France to the United States in 1803.
Tens of thousands of Louisiana students have benefitted from French immersion classes, the release said. It also will further the Escadrille Louisiane program, a teacher training program designed to help Louisiana build a cadre of native Louisiana French language teachers in the immersion programs.