Little Growth Planned In State Aid For LA Public Schools
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana's public schools appear on track to receive largely standstill financing for the next school year.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday backed a recommendation for a $3.7 billion financing formula for the 2017-18 school year that would freeze the amount of money doled out per student.
The proposal would include $18 million in new money for higher-need students and dual enrollment programs that help students earn credit toward advanced degrees. The formula's price tag also would rise by another $18 million, to account for increased student enrollment.
The board, known as BESE, will take a final vote on the proposal Wednesday, and is expected to pass it and send it to lawmakers for consideration in the regular legislative session that begins April 10.
Gov. John Bel Edwards supports the recommendation backed Tuesday, and his budget proposal for the upcoming state fiscal year includes the dollars to cover the school financing plan.
Education leaders say they need more money to cope with rising retirement costs and other expenses. But BESE members don't believe such increases can win legislative support when the state is struggling with continued budget gaps.
Lawmakers can only approve or reject the formula, known as the Minimum Foundation Program, that BESE sends them. They cannot change it.