Public education funding likely to be frozen again
State Superintendent of Education John White announced to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that a funding increase for public education’s Minimum Foundation Program is unlikely in the coming year.
After hearing from teachers, principals, superintendents and local school boards, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved modest changes to the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan. The changes aim to ease the “sticker shock” expected to lower school letter grades when tougher standards are imposed.
LFT President Larry Carter urged the board to adopt a four-point plan proposed by school superintendents, instead of the harsh BESE plan that would see many schools drop at least one letter grade.
Faster than a speeding bullet, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education sailed through its slate of meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in record time. Committee hearings that generally last until the sun goes down (or later) were gaveled to a close with hours to spare, leaving onlookers puzzled more about what did not happen than what did.
UPDATE: At a January 27 meeting of the legislature’s Joint Committee on the Budget, Gov. John Bel Edwards pledged that there will be no cuts to this year's Minimum Foundation Program, family services or department of corrections in a special session slated to run from February 13-23.
BESE Report - October, 2016 BESE okays plan for teacher internships
A plan to reconfigure teacher preparation in Louisiana was unanimously approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education following a close favorable vote by the board’s Teacher Effectiveness Committee.
BESE Report – January 2016 MFP faces $20 million shortfall this year
Former Lt. Governor and current Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne visited BESE to administer oaths of office to members, but also brought a warning about the state’s dire financial situation.
It’s a conflict that has frustrated parents and school administrators ever since a protest movement last spring prompted thousands of students to opt-out of taking PARCC tests. Federal law requires schools to report test scores and be graded based on them, but no law forces students to take the tests.
In a compromise that was vetted by the Parish Superintendents Advisory Council, but not the Accountability Commission, BESE approved an emergency rule that allows schools in which students to avoid penalties, at least for one year.
For the past eight years, John Bel Edwards has been steadfast in his support for public education. Even when Gov. Jindal’s ratings were above 60%, John Bel was unafraid to say that the Jindal plan was bad for Louisiana. He has been a voice of reason standing against those who led the state to the brink of disaster.
What should have been a bombshell announcement that the State Department of Education is underfunding some charter schools with special education students while overpaying others was virtually ignored by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.