In March, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, in consultation with the LA Department of Education and the MFP Task Force, determined their MFP Proposal. The MFP is the funding formula used to determine how much money each school district will receive from the state. This proposal is essentially how much BESE is asking the legislature to spend on K-12 schools in Louisiana.
BESE’s MFP proposal calls for a $400 raise for teachers and only $200 for support employees. Once BESE makes their proposal, it is automatically sent to the legislature for approval. This year, SCR 2 by Senator Fields allows for the legislative approval of the MFP proposal. Senator Fields sponsored the legislation, as is traditional for the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, but he has spoken out multiple times to advocate for a larger raise for teachers & school employees.
The legislature had only two options: pass through the MFP as recommended, or send it back to BESE for amendments. They cannot increase the MFP proposal themselves.
On Thursday, April 29th, the Senate Education Committee voted to reject the MFP proposal that had been sent to the legislature by the Board of Elementary and ask that they increase the teacher/school employee pay raise. The recommendation they submitted to BESE, calls for a $1,000 increase for teachers/certified personnel and $500 for uncertified personnel.
Following this decision by the Senate Education Committee, the House Approriations Committee continued to work to craft the state budget. In order for a pay raise to be finalized, the MFP proposal must be passed by the legislature AND funded in the state budget.
On May 6th, the full House of Representatives passed a state budget that included a $800 raise for teachers and $400 for school employees. The Senate Education Commitee also ammended their recommendation to BESE so that it would match what was allocated in the budget.
On May 12th, BESE held a Special Meeting to consider this recommendation from the legislature, among other business. They decided to ammend their MFP proposal to match the recommendation from the Louisiana Legislature. BESE's MFP proposal now includes an $800 raise for certified personnel and $400 for classified employees, which matches the recommendation from the legislature and what currently exists in the state budget bill.
While still inadequate, this is a step in the right direction from what was originally proposed by BESE and the Governor's office.
On Tuesday, May 18th the Revenue Estimating Conference met to consider economic projections from economist who determined that the state has more money than previously thought. They increased their revenue projections for both this year and next by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Lawmakers will now have $357 million more to spend in the current fiscal year and $320 million more to spend next year. LFT is pushing legislators to use some of this additional money to fund further increases for teachers and school employees. We can and should match the pay increase seen in 2019 ($1000 for teachers and $500 for school employees), if not exceed it.
The MFP proposal modified by BESE on May 12th, which includes a $400 increase for classified employees and $800 for teachers/certified personnel passed through the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, May 18th and passed through the full Senate on May 24th. It’s unlikely that the MFP will go back to BESE for modification at this point, because it would not have time to work it's way through the legislature, but the legislature could have chosen to include additional pay increases in the budget, that will roll into the MFP next year.
On the afternoon of Monday May 24th, the Senate Finance Committee finalized their budget, which includes the additional revenue recognized by the REC last week. Despite commitments from multiple legislators, including Senate Finance Chairman Bodi White, none of the additional revenue went towards teacher and school employee pay raises.
Thousands of Louisiana educators wrote to their legislators asking them to reconsider the budget and fund larger pay increases, but on Thursday, May 27th the Senate finalized and approved the budget with no additional funding for schools or school employees.
The finalized budget has now been signed by both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and is awaiting signature from the Governor.
On Tuesday, June 8th the MFP (SCR 2) was approved by the full Senate .
After much back and forth, the MFP was finalized in the legislature and in the budget. It will provide for a 1.375% ($40 million) increase in per pupil funding (from $4,015 to $4,070 per student) as well as an $800 raise for every teachers/certified employee and a $400 for each non-certified support employee.