BESE approves MFP, increased school funding

BESE approves MFP, increased school funding

POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 4:04pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 4:10pm

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) today approved the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) formula for the 2014-15 school year, increasing the amount of state funds allocated to public schools.

The approved MFP includes a 2.75 percent statewide funding increase, additional state funds for career education courses, state funding for districts to provide expanded course opportunities outside of high schools, and an increase in state funding for students whose disabilities require costly services.

“This formula is the result of months of hard work by many, reflecting the input of a wide range of Louisiana education stakeholders,” said Jay Guillot, BESE member and MFP Task Force chairman. “It strikes a good balance in providing spending flexibility to districts while improving accountability, and provides a solid framework for addressing future funding needs.”

The basis for the 2014-15 MFP came from the MFP Task Force, which was comprised of a diverse membership of Louisiana education stakeholders, provided the basis for the 2014-15 MFP. The task force provided guidance on improving the formula to ensure the most equitable method of funding public education.

BESE also approved the inclusion of language to the MFP that would continue to provide an annual 2.75 percent increase in subsequent years; this preserves the funding increase in the event that the Legislature does not approve an MFP formula for a specific year. The Board added that for 2014-15 it would be in support of an additional increase beyond the 2.75 percent as long as the state maintains its current high academic standards and accountability measures.

“Louisiana has committed to improving standards in order to provide the best possible education for its students,” said Chas Roemer, BESE President. “To that end, the Board would support the allocation of additional school funding if tied to accountability and the successful implementation of the higher standards.”

The MFP defines the cost of educating all public school students in Louisiana. The state’s constitution requires BESE to develop a formula for distributing state funds to public schools and submit it to the Louisiana Legislature each year. The final resolution outlining the formula approved by BESE today will be sent to the Louisiana Legislature for consideration by March 15.

Read more about the MFP here

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