BESE

Louisiana Department of Education

The annual application period for the state’s school voucher program is now open, despite uncertainty over availability of state funding.

Due to a 2013 Louisiana Supreme Court ruling, vouchers are not funded through the Minimum Foundation Program, or MFP. That’s the money public schools receive from both state and local tax dollars.

On Monday, Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal decided Type 2 charter schools don’t qualify for MFP funding either. 


Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

Chas Roemer, the outgoing president of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, announced a week ago he does not plan to run for re-election. Looking ahead to next month’s election, he has some advice for voters.


“My child is crying and beating his head on the table at night, when we address homework,” Desoto Parish parent Karen Jenkins told the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Thursday.

“My grandchildren started vomitin’ at school,” Caddo Parish grandmother Pat Dyson said.

Both were trying to persuade BESE to make allowances for opting out of the upcoming PARCC testing, because they believe Common Core is doing more harm than good.


 “I don’t want to subject my son to an environment of testing that I know has nothing to do with learning.”

So says James Kirylo, father of Antonio, a third-grader attending public school in Tangipahoa Parish. Kirylo is also a professor of education at Southeastern Louisiana University, and is one of dozens of parents around the state who are opting their children out of standardized testing this spring. Kirylo admits his reason is different than most.

 

The Senate Education Committee took testimony on the MFP Thursday, and ended up rejecting the formula for funding public schools.

The formula included $150-million in new spending: for a growing number of students, for career education and for kids with special needs. On a conference call following the committee meeting, state Superintendent John White said he’s not worried about students losing out, despite the formula being turned away. That’s because House Appropriations already added the extra money to HB 1, the next state budget.

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