BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — The education board member leading a review of public school funding said Tuesday that more money in the financing formula should be steered to technical training courses and to special education students.
Jay Guillot, a member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, is chairman of a task force considering changes to the formula that pays for public schools. Guillot issued recommendations in advance of the final task force meeting, planned for Friday.
In addition to tweaks in spending on skills courses and special education, Guillot suggested an inflationary boost to the $3.5 billion funding formula that funnels state and local money to school systems.
He also suggested providing a new "subsidy" in the formula to pay for the Course Choice program, which offers online course offerings, academic courses and skills training to public school students, taught by private organizations and universities.
The Louisiana Supreme Court struck down a previous attempt to pay for Course Choice through the formula, but Guillot is recommending a new approach that is expected to generate renewed complaints that including the program would siphon dollars from public schools.
Guillot's ideas need multiple layers of approval before they could be implemented. The task force will consider them this week, followed by BESE in March. If approved by the full education board, the funding plans would need legislative backing.
Guillot also said he'll recommend to BESE that it start a long-term review of the school funding formula, to consider more widespread restructuring.