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BESE approves teacher pay raises, increase to school aid in 2021-2022 state education funding formula

Wednesday the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) unanimously approved the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) formula for the 2021-22 school year, increasing state education funding by an estimated $80 million. The formula allocates approximately $40 million to fund an annual pay raise of $400 for teachers and $200 for support staff, in addition to a 1.375 percent increase to the statewide base per pupil amount, boosting state aid to public school systems by $40 million.

BESE President Sandy Holloway said, “As we initiate the funding process for K-12 education and the state budget picture comes into clearer focus, it remains important to continue moving the salaries of our dedicated Louisiana teachers toward the regional average, and ensure increased funding support for our schools and school systems as they continue to meet the challenge of educating students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The approved MFP formula, developed with broad stakeholder input, represents a strong starting point in the process. We look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature in the weeks ahead to equitably and effectively meet the funding needs of all students, educators and schools.”

The MFP defines the cost of educating all public school students in Louisiana. The state’s constitution requires BESE to develop a formula for distributing state funds to public schools and submit it to the Louisiana Legislature each year. The final resolution outlining the formula approved by BESE today will be sent to the Legislature for consideration during the 2021 Regular Session. The Board added a request to the MFP transmittal letter that should additional funds be realized during the budgeting process, the Legislature will return the MFP formula to the Board so that appropriate adjustments can be made.

BESE’s resolution aligns with the recommendations of the MFP Task Force, a diverse group of Louisiana education stakeholders that advises the Board annually on the development of the MFP formula. The formula’s $40 million education pay raise provision also mirrors the proposed allocation in Governor John Bel Edwards’ 2021-2022 Executive Budget.

The approved formula for 2021-2022 specifically provides for:

an increase of 1.375 percent in the base per pupil rate of revenue in Level 1 of the formula, from $4,015 to $4,070, yielding a projected $40 million increase for local schools and school systems;

a pay raise of $400 for certificated staff and $200 for non-certificated support staff with retirements in Level 4 of the formula; and

a funding allocation in Level 4 of the formula for annual stipends to certified mentor teachers in the amount of $2,000 per mentor teacher.

The Board authorized the Louisiana Department of Education to submit the MFP resolution to the Legislature by its March 15, 2021 deadline.