Money not following the right student.
Charter schools bank funding allocated to serve 
students with disabilities in traditional public schools.
Tell Your State Representatives!

May 23 2015




Senate Bill 267 (equitable funding formula across all school systems) was amended by the House Education Committee to allow the inequity to continue for one more year! 



Act now to indicate your support for funding to be fair across schools so schools serving students with disabilities will receive the money to cover needed services.


Is your answer YES to any or all of these questions below?  If so, take action now.

  • Do you want for your child's school to have the money necessary to support the services your child needs to succeed?
  • Do you want to make sure charter schools serve a fair share of students with disabilities? 
  • Do you want the inequity to stop now? 


What you can do:

  • Let your Representative know if you want to see Louisiana schools receive their fair share of funds.
  • Let them know if you want this inequity to be corrected immediately or if we should continue to pad school system budgets with money needed to serve students with disabilities in other schools.
Contact your Louisiana Representative

Contact your state representative to let them know how you feel about these issues.


Click here to find your Representative's contact information.


Not sure who represents you?

Click here to find out who your Representative is.

What is the Inequity and why does it happen?

What is the Inequity?

  • Most charter schools (Type II) receive 'extra' money that should be provided to traditional public schools for services needed by students with disabilities.
  • Almost every traditional public school system in Louisiana is losing money, millions of dollars, that is designed to cover the costs of services for students with disabilities.  The funds for students with disabilities are sent to charter schools that do not have an adequate number of students with disabilities enrolled to justify receiving those funds.

How is this happening?

  • Charter schools tend to not serve a fair share of students with disabilities and the Department of Education is not distributing dollars in accordance with the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP).
And the House Education Committee is Ok with schools serving students with disabilities not receiving the funding needed to cover the costs of those services?
  • Yes.  After hearing testimony and reviewing data provided from the Louisiana Department of Education revealing the millions of dollars charter schools receive that should be provided to the traditional public school systems to serve students with disabilities, the House Education Committee voted 8-6 to delay correcting this inequity for at least another year.
  • Click here  to see data showing how much charter schools are receiving and how much they should be receiving based on the students enrolled in their schools (data provided by LDOE).

Can this inequity be corrected by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) or the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE)?

  • Constitutionally BESE is required to distribute the funds in accordance with the formula in the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) so not only can BESE/LDOE correct the inequity it is not clear how the inequity has continued for this long.
  • Senator Claitor requested for BESE to correct this issue three years ago (SCR124 of 2012).
  • For three years BESE held MFP Task Force meetings ostensibly to study and recommend how to correct the inequity issue of funding.  Committee members of the MFP Task Force requested, but never received, data related to the inequity issue.  So after three years of being asked to correct the inequity, nothing has been done by BESE/LDOE to correct the millions of dollars from flowing out of schools serving students with disabilities to charter schools who are not serving their fair share of students with disabilities (or to provide the one charter school that does serve a fair share of students from receiving the funding needed by the students served by that school).
Do you want to wait for fairness?

During the debate in House Education, Representative Walt Leger introduced an amendment to delay the implementation of an equitable funding formula for one year. The Louisiana Department of Education provided data clearly illustrating exactly how much money most charter schools are receiving for not serving students with disabilities.


LaTEACH members and Senator Dan Claitor expressed concerns to members of House Education that delaying equity is not only unfair and unjust to students with disabilities but also a clear violation of the Louisiana Constitution. 


Click Here to watch the debate which begins at the 1 hour 13 minute mark. The debate on the amendment begins at the 2 hour and 38 minute mark.


Superintendent Doris Voiter, St. Bernard Parish, explained it well.  

"We (traditional public school systems) have been faced with a situation that we have been underfunded for our weighted pupil memberships, whether it be special education, career tech and all of these weights for quite a long time.  This (delay) would exasperate this situation. If the Legislature will make it clear that the MFP will be funded appropropriately, in accordance with student weights, ... schools will know how to adjust before next year." 

Did you know?
  • Charter schools were created to serve students at risk - including students with disabilities.
  • "How do School Leaders Respond to Competition?  Evidence from New Orleans" reveals that one third of charter school administrators readily admit they recruit and screen students - even though screening and selection practices are not (technically) permitted. Some statements of education leaders in the report are telling of how students with disabilities are viewed:
    • "Choice is competition, by the way, for students."
    • "Every kid is money."
    • "We all want our numbers up so we can get more money, more funding."
  • Charter schools receive (MFP) funds associated with students with disabilities regardless of whether any students with disabilities are enrolled in the charter school.  SB267 would ensure that funds associated with each student with a disability goes to the school that actually serves the student.
Important Information

Why does the money not necessarily follow the right students?

The Minimum Foundation Program, or MFP, is the formula for how elementary and high schools get their piece of $3,500,000,000 - that is 3.5 Billion dollars.  While the formula is complex, the concept of how the formula creates inequities across schools is simple.  Relative to the amount provided for students without disabilities, each student identified with a disability in a traditional public school system brings in 2.5 times as many dollars as a child without a disability.   The amount of money taken from traditional public schools and provided to charter schools run by BESE and other school choice programs is determined by a different formula - an average amount of money which is the same amount for every student -regardless if the student has a disability or not.

When there is an imbalance of students with varying levels of need across traditional and certain charter schools or choice programs, whichever school has more than their share of students with needs that cost more is not receiving the funding necessary to cover the costs of the services for the students in their school.

Additional dollars are needed to provide services such as therapies (speech, occupational, Adaptive physical education, behavioral), services (e.g., nursing), devices (e.g., augmentative communication systems, medical equipment, adaptive equipment, etc.) and higher teacher ratios.  Of course, no two students with disabilities have the same amount of services, but on average, it costs much more to serve students with disabilities.  In today's world of competitive education, it seems necessary to ensure 

adequate resources are provided to schools based on student need and there should not be financial incentives for schools to avoid serving students with more needs.


Which school systems are not getting adequate funds to serve the students in their schools?

Typically, the imbalance works against the traditional public school system because it does not receive its fair share of funding; however, the funding inequity can work both ways.  A charter school wishing to serve a student with a disability may not be receiving an adequate amount of funds needed to provide services to that student.  Parents should not have to wonder whether the school received the right amount of funds to serve their student.


To understand the funding imbalance between traditional and charter schools click the link to watch the webinar:  Louisiana Accountability and Funding Systems:  Impact on Students with Disabilities



Did You Take Action?
Thank you

Please let us know if you contacted your legislators or attended a committee meeting.  Confirm your action with your regional LaTEACH leader or email us at
Any questions?
If there are any questions about the information in this alert, contact LaTEACH at:
contact pic
Phone: 1-800-450-8108
Phone: 1-800-894-6558

LaTEACH is an initiative of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council.