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  • Writer's pictureJoel David Massey

Legislature Restores Funding for Teachers, Early Childhood Education in Louisiana Budget

BATON ROUGE, LA.—Public school teachers will receive a one time stipend of $2,000 and $24.2 million for early childhood education has also been restored in the latest version of the state’s budget.


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According to the Louisiana Illuminator the Senate Finance Committee approved new versions of spending bills set to go into effect July 1.


Senators made lots of changes to the House version behind closed doors.  Highlighting Sen. Heather Cloud’s (R) and Gov. Landry’s effort to hinder sunshine laws and public record requests in a measure that was debated earlier.


Short summaries of each change was given to reporters and lobbyists after the Senate Finance Committee adjourned.


Thirty-three million for teacher stipends that the House took out was restored bringing the total to about $198 million.  This looks to give teachers $2,000 and support staff $1,000 but only temporarily.  Gov. Landry and lawmakers will not put the money toward raises.


The Senate also decided to listen to the Committee of 100 Chamber of Commerce leaders who called for the restoration of $24.2 million for early childhood education, which would enable 2,000 youngsters to get money for K-3 programs, also adding another $24.3 million to the public school funding formula.  This seeks to spend more on tutoring services and supplemental pay to teachers in positions that are hard to fill.  


State revenue projections rose in May giving senators $197 more to use in the current budget year and $88 million more in the next cycle.


According to the National Association of State Budget Offices, Louisiana’s budget totals $44.2 billion which is a decrease of 6.9 percent from the existing operating budget for fiscal 2024.  The general fund portion of the budget totals $12 billion, a decrease of 1.9 percent.


Landry will have the power to remove items from the approved budget and lawmakers can overrule his vetoes but it has rarely happened.


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