RELEASE: Democrats For Education Reform Opens Chapter in Louisiana

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March 17, 2015


Baton Rouge, La — This month, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) began work to establish a chapter in Louisiana. DFER is a non-profit organization comprised of progressive Democrats working to cultivate and support Democratic leaders to champion the needs and interests of our nation’s public schoolchildren. DFER aims to encourage members of the Democratic party to embrace education reform and be champions of students, especially those stuck in persistently failing schools. Formed in 2007, DFER operates in 14 states across the country, working with education leaders to combat the decline of our education system and standing up for our most vulnerable citizens.

DFER announced today that it has hired Eva Kemp-Melder to serve as the Louisiana State Director. Kemp-Melder comes to DFER from the office of United States Senator Mary Landrieu, where she advised the former senior senator on education policy, including high quality charter school development, early childhood expansion, and higher education affordability.

“Eva has spent her career working with and for the students of Louisiana. From her time in the classroom, as a candidate, and on Capitol Hill, she has demonstrated her dedication to challenging the status quo and advocating for the interests of students,” said Joe Williams, DFER’s executive director. “With her unique experience at the local, state and federal levels, she promises to lend a valuable perspective to support pragmatic progressives that champion high quality public education.”

Raised in Hammond, La, Kemp-Melder attended Louisiana State University and began her career in education as a fourth grade teacher in Baton Rouge. Later, she worked as a literacy coach in Jackson, La and earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration from LSU. Eva also served at the Louisiana Department of Education and the Recovery School District focusing on school turnaround policies, enrollment and portfolio planning. After graduate school, Eva moved to Washington, D.C. in 2013 to work as a legislative assistant in Senator Landrieu’s office.

“As DFER’s state director, I will continue to work to build an education system that provides rigorous, high quality opportunities for all children,” Kemp-Melder said, “Louisiana has been a leader in education reform for years, but there is still a long way to go. We can continue to do better and our students in Louisiana deserve better. There are so many great partners and leaders working on behalf of Louisiana’s schoolchildren and I look forward to working with all of them.”