Public school financing divides Louisiana’s GOP lawmakers

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republicans in the House and Senate are at odds over Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposal to give Louisiana’s public school districts a $39 million block grant increase.

The Senate is advancing a 2019-20 school financing proposal backed by the Democratic governor that includes the funding boost. The Senate Education Committee voted 6-1 Thursday for the measure, with most Republicans on the panel backing the legislation.

But Republicans on the House Education Committee blocked a similar proposal, opposing the $39 million increase.

The disagreement threatens to create problems for passage of a separate teacher pay raise included in the financing formula.

The pay hike has widespread support in both chambers. But the K-12 formula is crafted by the state education board. Lawmakers can reject or approve it. They cannot change it.

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