BESE adopts statewide K-12 education funding formula

Mar 6, 2024, 11:36 AM by BESE Admin

Board increases financial support for school systems, requests Legislature to fund stipends for educators and support staff

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) today unanimously approved the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) formula for the 2024-25 school year. The new formula aligns with the recommendations of the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), adding approximately $71.3 million to the MFP to address the key areas of employee pay, workforce development, tutoring, and operational costs. BESE also unanimously adopted a separate resolution urging lawmakers to appropriate funds for educator and support staff pay stipends in the 2024-25 state budget.

“The MFP formula adopted by BESE today provides a solid and responsible starting point for funding K-12 public education in Louisiana in the coming year,” said BESE President Ronnie Morris. “In developing the new MFP our Board considered all factors, taking into account state revenue projections, rising costs, and the real-world needs of students, educators and school systems. As we move through the MFP and budget processes, BESE remains committed to working with our partners in the Legislature to ensure that the financial needs of Louisiana public schools are met.”

Key components of the MFP formula approved today:

  • $4,015 maintained as the base per pupil amount provided to school systems;
  • $25 million allocated to continue the differentiated compensation provision for teacher pay;
  • $2 million to provide school systems with support for apprenticeships and internships;
  • $30 million allocated to support literacy and math tutoring; and
  • $14.3 million added to help school systems meet rising operational expenses.

The MFP formula defines the cost of a minimum program of education for all public elementary and secondary schools in Louisiana. School districts, charter schools, lab schools and state schools utilize MFP dollars to fund expenses including employee salaries and benefits. Complete details on the 2024-2025 MFP formula adopted by BESE are available here.

The state’s constitution delegates authority to BESE to develop the MFP formula and submit it to the Louisiana Legislature each year. Per state law, the Legislature may approve or reject the formula but cannot make amendments to it. The final resolution outlining the formula approved by BESE today will be submitted to the Legislature for consideration by March 15.

Also being submitted to the Legislature is a unanimous resolution from the Board urging and requesting lawmakers to include in the 2024-2025 fiscal year budget provisions for funding a stipend of $2,000 for certificated K-12 school personnel and $1,000 for support personnel. The resolution reflects a similar resolution adopted by BESE’s MFP Task Force and aligns with the $198 million teacher stipend provision in Governor Jeff Landry’s proposed executive budget. The full BESE resolution may be viewed here.

“While we understand the budget realities that lawmakers are grappling with, it is important that our state prioritize the needs of K-12 education and recognize the incredible efforts of its teachers and support staff by providing them with a meaningful monetary stipend,” said Morris.

Understanding the need for teacher placement in critical shortage areas and in high need schools, the Board allocated $25 million in the MFP formula for continued funding of a block grant program to provide a differentiated compensation provision for teacher salaries. The provision allows school systems to apply for grant dollars to fund stipends for teachers working in critical shortage areas as defined by BESE, highly-effective teachers as defined in state law and BESE policy, teachers working in schools with an economically disadvantaged student population rate of 85% or higher, and teacher leaders and mentors. In 2023-24, the Legislature appropriated $25 million as a budget line item to fund a differentiated compensation provision with similar methodology.

Also included in the new formula is an allocation of $2 million to support workforce development through apprenticeships and internships in school systems. For apprenticeships, a total of $1 million is proposed – federally classified rural school systems would receive $3,500 per enrolled student and non-rural systems would receive $2,500 per enrolled student. For internships, a total of $1 million is proposed – school systems would receive $1,000 per enrolled student. In 2023-24, the Legislature allocated $1.5 million for apprenticeships and internships as a budget line item.

The Board added $30 million to the MFP as a block grant for Accelerate tutoring for literacy and math, focusing on students most in need of improved academic outcomes. The Accelerate tutoring model provides students with extra time for connecting unfinished learning in the context of new learning, integrating new information and the necessary prior knowledge. The funding may be used to provide services for any student requiring tutoring, including expenses for extra staffing, contracted services, or online programming as determined at the local level with guidance from the LDOE.

BESE’s funding proposal also increases support for mandated operational costs incurred by schools. The Board added approximately $14.3 million to the formula to boost school systems’ operational expense allocation from $100 to $122 per student. Since the 2008-09 school year, the Consumer Price Index has increased by 44 percent, and the new formula’s operational expense provision recognizes half of that inflationary increase.

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For more information, contact:
Kevin Calbert

The mission of BESE is to provide leadership and create policies for education that expand opportunities for children, empower families and communities, and advance Louisiana in an increasingly competitive global market.