BESE approves additional $80 million in teacher pay raises, school aid

Education
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BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Wednesday, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved programs that will up education funding by $80 million.

BESE members unanimously approved the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) formula for the 2021-22 school year, increasing state education funding by an estimated $80 million.

The formula sets aside approximately $40 million to fund an annual pay raise of $400 for teachers and $200 for support staff, as well as a 1.375 percent increase to the statewide base per pupil amount, boosting state aid to public school systems by $40 million.

BESE President Sandy Holloway said the move was made in support of schools and school systems, “as they continue to meet the challenge of educating students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Holloway called the approved MFP formula, which was developed after receiving input from all involved, “represents a strong starting point in the process.”

She said the Board looks forward to working with the state Legislature to meet the funding needs of all students, faculties and schools.

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 Wednesday will be sent to the Legislature for consideration during the 2021 Regular Session, which will begin April 12.

In the letter that will be sent to the Legislature, the Board asked that if additional funds be made available, that BESE will return the MFP formula to the Board so that appropriate adjustments can be made.

BESE’s resolution aligns with the recommendations of the MFP Task Force, a diverse group of Louisiana education stakeholders that advises the Board annually on the development of the MFP formula. The formula’s $40 million education pay raise provision also mirrors the proposed allocation in Governor John Bel Edwards’ 2021-2022 Executive Budget.

The approved formula for 2021-2022 specifically provides for:

  • an increase of 1.375 percent in the base per pupil rate of revenue in Level 1 of the formula, from $4,015 to $4,070, yielding a projected $40 million increase for local schools and school systems;
     
  • a pay raise of $400 for certificated staff and $200 for non-certificated support staff with retirements in Level 4 of the formula; and
     
  • a funding allocation in Level 4 of the formula for annual stipends to certified mentor teachers in the amount of $2,000 per mentor teacher.

The Board authorized the Louisiana Department of Education to submit the MFP resolution to the Legislature by its March 15, 2021 deadline.

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