Access to Education


Success in life begins with a quality education. And yet, tens of thousands of children and youth lack the support they need to strengthen their literacy, stay on track in school, graduate high school, and find a career.

We’re fighting to shift the odds so tomorrow’s leaders can build a better foundation today. With an approach to education that spans from cradle to career, we’re ensuring every child gets a strong start in life, teenagers have the tools to learn and grow, and young adults thrive in the job market.


children and youth enrolled in high-quality educational programs and supports


of children served are reading on grade-level


of youth served graduated on time

FEATURED IMPACT STORY laila and jamila

When COVID-19 closed down schools, first-grade twins Laila and Jamelia struggled to complete their school work at home between a shared tablet and smartphone. They needed separate devices to be able to focus and have the space necessary to suit their different learning styles. 

Thanks to a partnership with BET and United Way, the girls’ school delivered two laptops right at their doorstep so they could continue their education and find some sense of normalcy through a regular school schedule at home. 

Now Laila and Jamelia are fully engaged in their virtual lessons and getting the strong start in life necessary for prosperity tomorrow.


The United Way of Southeast Louisiana 2020 Public Policy Legislative Agenda, “United for a Safe & Prosperous Community,” advances our mission to eradicate poverty in Southeast Louisiana by fighting for the most vulnerable among us. COVID-19 interrupted the 2020 session, and it also interrupted what bills made it to the floor, with pandemic-related bills taking precedent.

Education Wins in 2020:

HB 64 authored by Rep. John Stefanski TAX/GAMING: Levies an 8% state tax on net revenues of fantasy sports contests, defines net revenues, and dedicates the tax to the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund. 

ACT 180 (Formerly HB 251) authored by Rep. Stephanie Hilferty EARLY CHILDHOOD: Recreates the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission.

ACT 272 (Formerly HB 474) authored by Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman TEACHERS: Provides relative to the training requirements of certain mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect.

HCR 12 authored by Rep. Ray Garofalo WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Directs the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Board of Regents to study and submit a report to the Legislature relative to funding and programs for workforce development.

SB10 authored by Sen. Beth Mizell INTERNET: Brings broadband internet access to underserved rural communities. 

ACT 215 (Formerly SB 130) authored by Sen. Cameron Henry GAMING: Provides for a proposition election to determine whether sports wagering activities and operations will be permitted in a parish.

View a wrap-up of our efforts during the 2020 regular and special legislative sessions here.