Gov. signs state budget with $200 million more for education

Gov. Edwards signs state budget bill that prioritizes education

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards signed the state operating budget Tuesday, June 18 without a single line-item veto.

It includes more than $200 million in new education funding, half of which is earmarked for pay raises for nearly 100,000 teachers across the state. Certified teachers will receive $1,000 more each year. Lunch servers, janitors, and other support staff will receive $500 more.

(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

“This is the best budget for education in Louisiana in well over a decade,” Edwards said. “That’s what we need in Louisiana because that’s what inspires confidence in employers to invest in Louisiana.”

Local school districts will get an additional $40 million, which represents a small increase in the per pupil funding within the state’s education formula. Some schools will use their additional money to offer even higher raises.

Higher education will also receive $40 million more. Some of that money is meant for TOPS so the state can meet a higher demand for the popular aid program.

The funding boost comes after a decade of financial turmoil and disinvestment in Louisiana that was reversed when lawmakers agreed to a sales tax compromise in 2018. This $200 million increase in funding for education is primarily driven by an improving economy, where income tax collections are higher because Louisianans are making more money.

(Source: WAFB)

“The worst thing we can do is get off the path that we’re finally on,” Edwards said. “The train is no longer in the ditch. It’s back on the tracks.”

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