MFP

courtesy: lsu.edu

For decades, lawmakers have complained about how complicated the state school funding formula – the MFP -- is, so we recently asked State Superintendent John White if he could explain it.


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. 


Wikimedia Commons

The Senate Finance committee met Wednesday to amend the supplemental appropriations bill, which allocates the money raised during this special session.  

The session must end no later than midnight Thursday.  At this point, says Senate Finance Chairman Eric LaFleur (D-Ville Platte), $258 million of additional revenue has been found.  


Sue Lincoln

The House took up the Senate amendments to the current year Supplemental Appropriations bill today – the amendments that yesterday took 7 million dollars from an escrow account in the Attorney General’s office.

Sue Lincoln

While most of the attention this session has been on the $600-million hole in the upcoming budget, earlier today, the full Senate did their part to balance the current year’s budget, which ends June 30th. They passed what’s known as the “Supplemental Appropriations” bill.

But first, Senate Finance chairman Eric LaFleur offered a surprise amendment.

Sue Lincoln

Louisiana’s House Republicans have been insisting the Governor needs to make more budget cuts before they’ll consider raising revenue. With the full House considering the tax hike bills tomorrow, they took matters into their own hands today.

“The Governor maxxed out all of his cuts. Our additional cuts are 87-million,” House Appropriations chairman Cameron Henry said when opening discussion on his bill to remove a total of $117-million from state agencies.

Why do Louisiana’s student counts keep coming up so woefully short, requiring the state to come up with more money for K-12 education each spring?

House Appropriations chairman Jim Fannin led the effort to find out why Louisiana’s mid-year MFP shortfall had grown from $18-million in 2008 to $56-million in 2014.

“When you have an increase in need in the MFP and you have a decrease in your revenue, it creates a train wreck,” Fannin told the Legislative Audit Advisory Council Thursday, as they received a report on a legislatively requested audit of the student count problem.

Next year’s method for funding for public schools is a bit up in the air after the Senate Education Committee rejected the proposed formula from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The formula, called the Minimum Foundation Program, or the MFP, was shot down last week because of a clerical error: BESE sent the legislature a draft of the MFP rather the final version.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is slated to approve the school funding formula next week. The new proposal, released Thursday, still pays for the voucher program with dollars that would otherwise go to local districts. But, state Supt. John White is pitching alternative financing that would skirt the formula.


On the Jim Engster Show Thursday morning, Division of Administration Commissioner Kristy Nichols relied on talking points that have been repeated by officials in the Jindal administration. 

The Commissioner has cherry-picked her facts.

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