House committee rejects K-12 budget, removing per pupil funding boost

House lawmakers reject K-12 budget, remove per-student funding increase

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The House Education Committee returned the state’s K-12 budget to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) Tuesday, April 16, recommending BESE redo its calculation to remove a per-pupil funding increase for Louisiana students.

The budget, called the Minimum Foundation Program calculation, locks money away so lawmakers cannot reduce K-12 funding in the budgeting and prioritization process. They can add more one-time money from state tax revenue in the budget, however.

BESE submitted its original calculation based on the governor’s proposed statewide budget, which assumed the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) would recognize more money than it actually did in early April.

Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, said they wanted to remove the money out of an abundance of caution so teacher pay raises would become permanent and guaranteed in case the revenue forecast is smaller than expected.

If lawmakers find more money, they could restore the funding at a later date.

Some legislators would dedicate that money toward early childhood education instead of K-12 funding, meaning the two age groups could be pitted against each other during the budgeting process.

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