If you have concerns with proposed changes to the state education funding formula, called the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), contact members of the Senate Education Committee and let them know how you feel.
The MFP for next school year (2013-2014) was passed by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and must be approved by the Legislature. The MFP, now Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 23, will be first heard by the Senate Education Committee. The Senate Education Committee has not set a date to hear discussion and vote on the MFP. As soon as a specific date becomes available LaTEACH will let you know.
There are major changes in the MFP formula for students with disabilities. As proposed in SCR 23, districts will no longer receive an additional 150% add-on weight of funding for each student with a disability. SCR 23 proposes multiple weights for funding based on:
- Disability classification of the student
- Setting or placement where the student is educated
- Student performance on standardized assessments
- How many students with disabilities graduate from high school in four or five years
- Reduction in the rate students are referred to special education
Read the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council LaDDC News on this change in education funding by clicking HERE.
The following groups opposed these changes and recommended for BESE to not move forward with these changes:
- The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council,
- Louisiana Special Education Advisory Panel,
- Louisiana Special Education Administrators Association, and
- the Superintendents Advisory Council.
Advocates, special education professionals, district administrators and parents have expressed concern over several issues with this drastic change in funding for schools to serve the needs of students who receive special education services. Some of those concerns include:
- Schools receive more funds to lower their referral rates regardless if the referrals are done appropriately;
- Funding incentives for segregated settings;
- Emphasis on academic outcomes without addressing incentives for meeting individualized goals and objectives;
- Fails to address funding for costly individualized supports and services;
- Impact on resources to smaller or less financially stable districts in providing a free appropriate public education to their students with disabilities; and,
- It does not address the inequities (unfairness) in how funds are distributed across all schools systems. Especially school systems that serve a higher percentage of students who need more costly special education supports and services.