At a special called meeting today, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved revisions to the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) formula for the 2021-22 school year, increasing proposed teacher pay raises to $800 and support personnel raises to $400. The Board’s action aligns the annual education funding formula with the recent recommendations of state lawmakers.
“Developing the MFP formula is a collaborative process, and we value the recommendations of our legislative partners,” said BESE President Sandy Holloway. “The revisions to the formula approved by BESE today reflect the desire of state education leaders, lawmakers, and other stakeholders to fulfill our commitment of increasing educator pay toward the regional average. As we continue moving forward through the constraints of a COVID-19-impacted environment in our state, it remains important that we maximize our opportunities to support Louisiana teachers to the utmost, and recognize the critical service they provide.”
The revised 2021-2022 MFP formula approved today:
· Maintains the base per pupil amount of $4,015 provided in Level 1 of the current MFP (SCR 3/2019);
· Continues the $1,000 pay increase for classroom teachers and other certificated personnel provided in 2019-2020, plus the current annual retirement contribution rate;
· Continues the $500 pay increase for non-certificated personnel provided in 2019-2020, plus the current annual retirement contribution rate;
· Provides an across-the-board pay raise of $800 for classroom teachers and other certificated personnel for FY 2021-2022, plus the current annual retirement contribution rate;
· Provides an across-the-board pay raise of $400 for non-certificated personnel for FY 2021-2022, plus the current annual retirement contribution rate; and
· Removes the allocation for $2,000 certificated mentor teacher stipends in Level 4 of the formula.
The Board included a request that if the Revenue Estimating Conference identifies more funding during the state budgeting process, the Legislature would consider increasing teacher pay raises beyond the amount proposed in the revised MFP formula, and fund the $2,000 Certified Mentor Teacher stipends that were included in the original formula.
On March 15, 2021, BESE submitted its original MFP formula proposal to the Louisiana Legislature, which included a $400 across-the-board pay raise for certificated personnel, $200 for non-certificated school support staff, and a 1.375 percent increase in the base per pupil allocation to schools and school districts. The revisions approved today double the proposed raises to teachers and support staff, and maintain school system funding at the current per pupil amount which was approved in 2019.
In the original submission of the formula to the Legislature, the Board had requested that should additional funding be recognized, the formula would be returned to the Board for revisions. At the initial hearing on the MFP (Senate Concurrent Resolution 2) at the April 29 Senate Education Committee meeting, Chairman Cleo Fields stated that Senate and House leadership had identified additional dollars, and the Committee voted unanimously to return the formula to BESE with recommendations as requested. The Committee’s recommendations for the allocation of funds, presented at its April 29 and May 6 meetings, are reflected in the revised MFP formula.
The MFP defines the cost of educating all public school students in Louisiana. The state’s constitution requires BESE to develop a formula for distributing state funds to public schools and submit it to the Louisiana Legislature each year. Lawmakers cannot revise the funding formula, and may only approve or reject it in accordance with state law. BESE will submit the revised MFP formula to the Legislature in the coming days for consideration during the remainder of the 2021 Regular Session.