La. Senate panel OKs #39M boost to K-12 education funding

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Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, expresses his disapproval of the proposed education funding bill in the Senate Education Committee on Thursday. (Photo credit: Madeline Meyer, LSU Manship School News Service)

By: Madeline Meyer, LSU Manship School News Service

Published: May 2, 2019

BATON ROUGE — The Senate Education Committee voted 6-1 Thursday to approve the governor’s proposal to provide a $39 million boost in K-12 education funding.

The controversial bill is moving to the Senate floor with possible review by the Senate Finance Committee. It remains unclear if Republican House leaders will endorse the bill.

Gov. John Bel Edwards — whose re-election campaign has stressed support for education, including $1,000 teacher pay raises and $500 for support workers — praised the Senate committee’s vote.

Garry Jones, the president of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, spoke on behalf of the bill.

Barry Dusse, director of the governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, said amendments to the governor’s overall state budget proposal would allow for the $39 million fund. Dusse said the money would come from the Department of Health and $15 million in savings from other agencies.

Teachers unions support the plans. But some teachers are concerned that the raises are not high enough.

“I have watched as the state has demanded more from our students and teachers in terms of testing, while contributing little in the way of additional resources to meet the rise in expectation,“ Belinda Davis, an LSU professor and the president of the public school advocacy group One Community, One School District, said in support of the bill.

Read more in The Advertiser.

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