Jindal budget $15M short on student growth money
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget proposal is $15 million short of what the Department of Education expects will be needed to cover growth in student enrollment at public schools next year, the state superintendent said Friday.
State Superintendent of Education John White made his remarks as he outlined the department's recommended $3.5 billion public school financing formula for the 2014-15 school year.
His department and the Jindal administration are recommending the same formula adjustments, with increased funding for technical courses and special education students, among other items.
But Jindal's budget is based on a projection of fewer students than the department's current estimates, so White says it's about $15 million less than what the department expects will be needed to cover the increased student count next year.
It's a common problem. Student enrollment projections change frequently. White called it "a very small discrepancy" in a formula that covers 700,000 students and billions of dollars.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will debate the school formula at its meeting next week and is expected to adopt what White has proposed. A formula recommendation must be submitted to lawmakers by March 15.