$3.7B school funding formula for next year wins unanimous support from Louisiana House



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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — A nearly $3.7 billion financing formula for Louisiana's public schools that would boost funding $85 million next year won unanimous support Thursday from House lawmakers.

Nearly half of the increase — about $41 million — is because more students are expected to attend the state's public schools in the upcoming 2015-16 year.

Of the other new dollars: $36 million would provide a 1.4 percent inflationary increase for school districts; and $8 million would increase spending for students with disabilities and for students taking "dual enrollment" college courses and career education classes.

The formula was crafted by the state education department and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Lawmakers can only approve or reject the formula BESE sends them. They cannot change it.

The House voted 100-0 for the proposal with little discussion of its contents Thursday, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

The formula is known as the Minimum Foundation Program. It allocates a base per-student funding level for about 700,000 students across Louisiana's public schools and then provides additional money depending on student type, local district wealth and the kinds of educational programs offered.

The base per-pupil amount would grow from $3,961 to $4,051, under the legislation.

The financing plan is $50 million more than Gov. Bobby Jindal recommended in his budget proposal, so lawmakers in the House added the money to cover the increase to next year's budget, providing full funding for the public schools despite a state cash crunch.


Online:

House Concurrent Resolution 18: http://www.legis.la.gov

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