$3.9B Louisiana school funding formula with raises approved

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BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – APRIL 17: A general view of the Louisiana State Capitol prior to a rally against Louisiana’s stay-at-home order and economic shutdown on April 17, 2020 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Governor John Bell Edwards has said Louisiana’s high rate of infections and deaths does not position the state to quickly open back up. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A $3.9 billion financing formula to pay for K-12 public schools and give those schools’ workers a pay raise in the upcoming year received final legislative passage Tuesday with a unanimous vote from the House.

Teachers, principals and other certificated personnel will receive an $800 salary boost in the 2021-22 school year, while school support workers such as cafeteria staff and bus drivers will receive a $400 pay hike. Even with the raises, Louisiana’s public school educators will remain below the Southern average in pay.

The school funding formula — which earlier received a unanimous vote from the Senate — will pay a base amount of $4,015 for each of the state’s nearly 700,000 public school students.

The formula was submitted to lawmakers by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Lawmakers can only accept or reject the proposal; they can’t change it. A first formula submitted earlier this year by the board was revised after lawmakers pushed for changes to match their budget work and pay raise plans.

The new spending plan takes effect July 1. It doesn’t require a decision from the governor.

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The legislation is filed as Senate Concurrent Resolution 2.

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