Louisiana Department of Education

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Included in Governor John Bel Edwards’ budget proposal for next fiscal year is a fully funded TOPS scholarship program, an increase to higher education, and a $1,000 teacher pay raise. Left out is any additional money for early childhood education, a program whose funding could end up being a point of contention during the legislative session that starts in April.

Wallis Watkins

For the fifth straight year, the number of students in Louisiana earning Advanced Placement credits has increased. More than 6,500 students gained college credit from their 2017 AP exams. 


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. 


House Reallocates Education Dollars

May 9, 2014

If there was a theme to “Budget Day” in the Louisiana House, it could be summed up by Thursday’s oft-heard refrain, “If we don’t do it, the Senate’s going to do it.”

There wasn’t a lot House members could do to alter the allocations, until they got to the Department of Education section. Because House Appropriations had forwarded the budget bill, HB 1, to the full House before the Senate Education Committee rejected the MFP, House members now had $70-million to play with.

Public Invited for State Budget Input

Apr 14, 2014

  As the sixth week of the twelve week session begins, the budget takes center stage on Monday and Tuesday.

“Our public comment days are April the 14th and April the 15th,” explains House Appropriations chairman Jim Fannin. And he says they will work into the evening both days, to ensure everyone can be heard.

Legislative approval is not required for LSU to lease its hospitals, that’s according to an opinion issued Thursday by State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. A law passed in 1997 gave governance of hospitals to LSU, and a 2003 amendment didn’t include leases on the list of things LSU has to go to the Capitol for – so Caldwell ruled leasing “intentionally omitted.”

The opinion hasn’t stopped the legislature from trying to intervene in privatization. The House moved a resolution to stop the process until the legislature has more information.

Louisiana House of Representatives

 While departments across the state are seeing steep cuts, the Department of Education has been getting more than it needs, according to accusations Wednesday in a House Appropriations Committee meeting.

Committee chairman Jim Fannin noted: year after year, the department has been allocated more money than it spent. In fiscal year 2012 the department's actual expenditures were $400 million dollars less than its $5.6 billion dollar operating budget.

School Turnaround Funds Repurposed

Mar 14, 2013

Federal funds dedicated to the turnaround of struggling Louisiana public schools have been repurposed.

The state Department of Education is using $5 million to issue grants to conceive new schools and allow high-performing schools to take on more students.

Almost 200,000 students are attending schools rated D or F. State Supt. John White said traditional public school systems that have been getting turnaround money are not drawing down that number.

“The pace of change has just not been fast enough for us not to consider a new path,” White said.  

Jim talks with Stephanie Powell Watts, this year's recipient of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for literary excellence, for her book, "We Are Taking Only What We Need"

Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White discusses the many changes in Louisiana's public education system, and legal challenges some of those initiatives are facing.  

Districts, State Clash Over Teacher Layoff Policy

Oct 19, 2012

State Supt. John White is scolding four school districts for including seniority as a factor for consideration in teacher layoff decisions.

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