Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: An explanation would be nice
- 2013 - 844 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- December 2012 - 131 articles
- November 2012 - 191 articles
- October 2012 - 183 articles
- September 2012 - 186 articles
- August 2012 - 211 articles
- July 2012 - 134 articles
- June 2012 - 139 articles
- May 2012 - 212 articles
- April 2012 - 167 articles
- March 2012 - 165 articles
- February 2012 - 129 articles
- February 29th, 2012 (Wednesday) - 1 articles
- An explanation would be nice
- February 28th, 2012 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- February 25th, 2012 (Saturday) - 2 articles
- February 24th, 2012 (Friday) - 1 articles
- February 23rd, 2012 (Thursday) - 28 articles
- February 22nd, 2012 (Wednesday) - 1 articles
- February 19th, 2012 (Sunday) - 1 articles
- February 17th, 2012 (Friday) - 1 articles
- February 16th, 2012 (Thursday) - 30 articles
- February 15th, 2012 (Wednesday) - 1 articles
- February 13th, 2012 (Monday) - 1 articles
- February 9th, 2012 (Thursday) - 30 articles
- February 3rd, 2012 (Friday) - 1 articles
- February 2nd, 2012 (Thursday) - 26 articles
- February 1st, 2012 (Wednesday) - 3 articles
- January 2012 - 106 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
|An explanation would be nice|
Every school superintendent in Louisiana most likely cringed Monday when the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education signed off on the funding formula for K-12 public schools for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
The $3.4-billion proposal approved by BESE was pieced together by the Jindal administration. Led by state Superintendent John White, a Jindal man, BESE endorsed the governor's proposed appropriation for the state Minimum Foundation Program amid little fanfare. The Legislature must still agree to Jindal's and BESE's recommendation, but lawmakers don't have much wiggle room, meaning the Legislature – by law – can either accept or reject the $3.4-billion proposal but it can't tinker with it.
School superintendents had hoped Jindal would include an annual 2.75-percent increase in funding for the MFP, better known as the convoluted formula that's used in deciding how much money each school district receives from the state in a given year. That Jindal nixed the increase for the 2012-2013 fiscal year didn't come as a surprise.
Jindal signaled long ago the state wasn't in the position – financially speaking – to include the 2.75-percent increase and for obvious reasons. Chief among them is tax collections on behalf of the state are relatively flat thanks to a flat economy. Besides, it's been three years since the MFP received what had become an annual increase of some 2.75 percent, which local school officials say is desperately needed to help offset annual increases in the costs to operate local schools.
There's no doubt school systems throughout Louisiana are struggling to make ends meet. Health insurance costs are up and so are the contributions school systems must make to the teacher retirement system. The latter became necessary because the teacher retirement system lost ground when the financial markets tanked in 2008.
There's no doubt, too, that the stand-still budget for the MFP that Jindal proposed and BESE endorsed will energize educators in fighting the education reforms the governor will ask the Legislature to entertain in the 2012 regular session, which begins March 12. That would be a mistake. Instead, educators would be well served if they asked the Jindal administration for a seat at the table, so to speak, when education reform is hashed out among the governor's allies in the Legislature and the administration itself.
The education community also would be making a grave error if it embarks on some sort of a protest or series of protests like we witnessed in Wisconsin when Republican Gov. Scott Walker tackled collective bargaining as a means to help Wisconsin balance its budget. And it's widely known the education community – particularly the teacher unions – are toying with the idea of staging a series of protests or sit-ins at the capitol in Baton Rouge to convince the Legislature to reject Jindal's education reform package.
If educators desire to turn public opinion in Louisiana against them, they should finalize their plans now to stage a full-fledged protest during the height of the regular session. They can be assured that their actions will be captured by the media and relayed to the public for it to consume on its own terms.
Yet, before we proceed too far down that primrose path of discussing education reform and how much money the taxpayers should pump into public schools, someone needs to explain why the state's contribution to the MFP skyrocketed from $2.28 billion in the 2001-2002 fiscal year to more than $3.4 billion in the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Meanwhile, the number of students enrolled in K-12 public schools in Louisiana dropped from roughly 714,000 in 2001-2002 to some 661,000 in 2011-2012.
Those are eye-popping figures that deserve an explanation.