Thursday, October 21, 2010

LFT President tells BESE: We need better choices for funding our schools

As the state’s top school board begins grappling with the prospect of even more cuts to public education, Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan urged board members “to see that the crisis we are in is real” and to embrace choices that strengthen communities and schools.

“We should be partners in setting priorities, and making sure that when this economic crisis ends Louisiana is positioned to enjoy prosperity,” Monaghan told the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The board must present its plan for funding public education to the legislature next March.

"We will not be in that position if we fail to invest in education now and identify and fund other vital public services," Monaghan noted.

For the past two years, basic funding for public education has been frozen. At the same time, lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal have shifted costs previously borne by the state to local school boards.

State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek admitted that the frozen MFP has been inadequate to pay for public education in the state, saying that schools could not have stayed afloat without the $377 million in federal stimulus funds granted to the state over the past 18 months.

To read the rest of this story, please click here.

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