The NCSL Blog


By Alison May

The NCSL Early Learning Fellows program is at it again. This year is the third round of the program and both the Fellows and NCSL Early Care and Education project staff are excited.

 For those less familiar, the Early Learning Fellows program is designed to support legislators and legislative staff who are experienced or emerging leaders on early childhood and early learning issues. The program is specifically designed to:

  • Build knowledge among legislators about new research and policy
  • Promote exchange of ideas and solutions related to early learning, the early achievement gap and many other issues.
  • Introduce and connect legislators to other legislative leaders
  • Provide Fellows with practical information they can use in their state
  • Facilitate access to leading researchers and policy experts.
The selection process for the 2014 Early Learning Fellows began in January 2014 as letters and nomination requests were sent to leader’s offices in almost every state and chamber. If you are interested in learning more about the nomination, application and selection process read about the Early Learning Fellow Selection Process.

The 2014 NCSL Early Learning Fellows class is comprised of legislators and staff from 14 states. The Fellows are: 

  • Rep. Kathy Coleman, (R-Wyo.)
  • Rep. Terri Collins, (R-Ala.)
  • Sen. Tanya Cook, (NP-Neb.)
  • Sen. Michael E. Dembrow, (D-Ore.)
  • Rep. Laura Hall, (D-Ala.)
  • Rep. Dan Huberty, (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Patrick O. Jefferson, (D-Calif.)
  • Kelly Klundt, fiscal analyst from New Mexico
  • David Mandell, special advisor on early childhood to the speaker of the house from Oregon
  • Rep. Edith “Edie” McClafferty, (D-Mont.)
  • Padraic McCracken, legislative research analyst from Montana
  • Rep. Jeanette M. Nuñez, (R-Fla.)
  • Rep. H. Marlene O’Toole, (R-Fla.)
  • Rep. Alice H. Peisch, (D-Mass.)
  • Rep. Harlie Eugene “Gene” Reynolds, (D-La.)
  • Rep. Tana Senn, (D-Wash.)
  • Asm. Michaelle C. Solages, (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Milo Smith, (R-Ind.)
  • Rep. Sherrie L. Sprenger, (R-Ore.)
  • Sen. Kate Sullivan, (NP-Neb.)
  • Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson, (D-Ore.)
  • Rep. Maureen Walsh, (R-Wash.)
  • Sen. Bo Watson, (R-Tenn.)

Fellows are expected to participate in an orientation conference call early in May, two face-to-face meetings and two webinars during the course of the program. The face-to-face meetings will take place in Denver  and Minneapolis in May and August respectively, and the webinars will each follow one month after the face-to-face meetings.

Learn more about the 2014 Early Learning Fellows here. As the year progresses, this area of the NCSL website will be updated with meeting materials and specific work being done by Fellows in the states to improve the lives of children and their families.

The Early Learning Fellows program is made possible by a grant from the Alliance for Early Success.   

Alison May is a staff coordinator with the NCSL Children and Families Program. 

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.