BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – During a Wednesday, March 8 meeting, every member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education agreed to a funding formula that would impact Louisiana’s K-12 educators and support staff throughout the 2023-24 school year.
BESE’s proposed funding formula now includes a new Minimum Foundation Program, or MFP, designed to meet the needs of educator and support staff pay, workforce development and operational costs.
The board’s passage of the MFP formula would provide $257 million in pay raises for teachers, including $2,000 for all teachers and another $61 million to meet some of the state’s greatest staffing challenges in the classroom.
Education officials said the new MFP would also increase aid for schools and districts struggling to cover rising expenses and supports career and technical education through dedicated funding.
Essentially, under the new MFP, school systems in Louisiana will be able to pay teachers more for meeting specific needs such as teaching in critical shortage areas or high-needs schools, earning highly effective ratings or taking on additional teacher leadership roles.
The adopted formula also includes across-the-board salary increases of $2,000 for certificated teachers and $1,000 for non-certificated school support staff.
Even more funds have been approved by BESE in the form of a $61 million block grant program, which would provide schools with money to cover costs of stipends for teachers who work 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 working to support their peers.
Added support for operational costs, apprenticeships
Under the new MFP, BESE added a projected $21.5 million that would help school systems meet increasing operational costs. The board used the rate of inflation from 2009 to increase the formula’s Mandated Costs Allocation from $100 to $133 per student to support health insurance, retirement, transportation and other operational costs incurred by school systems.
An additional aspect of the new MFP pertains to state-approved apprenticeship programs. It would allocate a projected $1.5 million increase to this program and ensure that funds are distributed to school systems based on the number of eligible students, with an enrollment limit of 250 applicants annually across both semesters. BESE officials said that systems designated as rural by the U.S. Census Bureau would receive $3,500 per enrolled student and non-rural systems would receive $2,500 per enrolled student.
What education leaders say about the new formula
Education officials anticipate that the formula will have a positive impact on Louisiana’s teachers and support staff.
State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley alluded to this, saying, “This will be a statewide game-changer for directly targeting pay towards staffing needs and teacher quality.”
BESE President Dr. Holly Boffy said, “We look forward to working with our partners in the legislature throughout the budgeting process to ensure that our students and educators receive the financial support they deserve.”
So, BESE approved the formula. Now what?
BESE’s newly approved formula must now be sent to the Louisiana Legislature for consideration by March 15. Per state law, the legislature may approve or reject the formula submitted by BESE but cannot make changes to it.
BESE asks that if the Revenue Estimating Conference recognizes additional funds during the budget approval process, then the legislature should return the formula to the board so that it can add a 2.75% increase to the formula’s base per pupil amount as well as additional funds for dual enrollment programs.
Click here for additional details on the adopted 2023-2024 MFP formula.