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.
The finance chief for the Louisiana Department of Education had a hard time answering questions Friday about alternate plans for funding the 4,900 low-income elementary and secondary students attending private schools.
One of the state laws going into effect Jan. 1 provides tax rebates for donations to organizations that will pay private and parochial school tuition for students from low and moderate-income families wanting to escape under-performing public schools. The rebates come into play barely a month after a state judge ruled a similar voucher program couldn’t be paid for through the formula for funding public schools.
Louisianians will also be able to check boxes on their tax forms to designate resources to fighting fraud in the state’s food stamp program.