BESE Newsroom
 

BESE approves Louisiana Student Standards, adopts 2016-17 education funding formula

March 4, 2016

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) today approved the Louisiana State Student Standards in English language arts and mathematics. This action by BESE replaces the Common Core State Standards with unique state standards developed through a collaborative statewide process which included extensive public input and the work of Louisiana educator-led committees.

"The new standards maintain high learning expectations in Louisiana and will keep our state’s progress moving forward as we prepare our students for college and careers," said Jim Garvey, BESE president. "I want to thank the educators serving on the review committees for their dedication to this important process and congratulate them on the end product — Louisiana-specific standards that meet the unique needs of our students and our state."
 

BESE convened a steering committee and three content subcommittees to review and develop the standards. The committees consisted of approximately 100 Louisiana educators from more than 30 parishes around the state, as well as representatives from educational, parent, and business organizations.

Committee members together spent approximately 9,000 hours developing standards which:

  • Provide developmentally appropriate content for all grades of courses while maintaining high expectations;
  • Allow teachers the freedom to determine the most appropriate method of instruction and choice of texts;
  • Provide teachers with more clarity about what is expected of students by making the standards less vague and less open to multiple interpretations;
  • Promote financial literacy and the study of money in earlier grades;
  • Order high school skills taught in algebra I, geometry, and algebra II

The standards represent the knowledge and skills students must master throughout elementary, middle and high school in order to be college and career ready upon graduation. In English, students should be able to read, understand, and express understanding of texts at each grade level. In math, students should meet college and workplace expectations without the need for remediation in math skills and concepts.

Act 329 of the 2015 Legislative Session codified the standards review process approved by BESE in April 2015 which provided for the review and development of state content standards for English and mathematics. The law requires BESE to adopt the standards no later than March 4, 2016, and to promulgate in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

The 2016-17 Louisiana Student Standards, comparison with previous standards, process overview and related information can be viewed online at http://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/library/standards-review-committee.

The Board also adopted the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) formula for the 2016-17 school year.

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 adopted MFP formula maintains the overall $3.7 billion K-12 allocation from last year, including $44 million for funding teacher salaries and high cost student services, which was approved outside of the formula in 2015-16 by lawmakers.

"The 2016-17 formula sustains existing state funding for K-12 education, including current levels for educator pay and support for students with the greatest needs," said Garvey. "We recognize the adoption of this formula represents the first step in the process. The present budget climate in Louisiana is challenging, but we’re committed to working with the Legislature to meet the funding needs of all our students and school districts."

The final resolution outlining the formula approved by BESE today will be sent to the Louisiana Legislature for consideration during the 2016 session.

The Board also addressed differentiated education funding in Orleans Parish. Act 467 of the 2015 Legislative Session seeks to equitably fund services for students with the greatest needs, and preserves the right of a local parish to distribute funds to traditional schools. Orleans Parish however is a nearly all-charter district with considerable variation in student populations across its schools. As such, a central organization does not redistribute funds to the schools and students most in need as a traditional school district would.

Act 467 requires that a working group of local leaders develop a district-level computation to address the needs of students within Orleans Parish. As part of its requirements under Act 467, BESE approved a set of student characteristics and needs as the basis for the district-level computation to be used in the allocation (Special Education Tiers 1 through 5, English language learners, overage students, and gifted and talented students). Implementation of the district-level computation will take effect beginning July 1, 2016, after authorization by the Orleans Parish School Board.

Additional detail on all policy items considered and approved by BESE at its March meetings can be accessed at http://bese.louisiana.gov/meetings/agendas-materials.

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Contact:
Kevin Calbert, Communications Manager
(225) 342-5847  |  kevin.calbert@la.gov


BESE is the administrative policymaking body for elementary and secondary schools in Louisiana. The Board sets key education initiatives and works to outline an education agenda to achieve continuous improvement of public education as measured by student and school achievement.