Louisiana School Boards Assn. Confronts Louisiana’s ESSA State Plan Rush Job
On March 13, 2017, US ed sec Betsy DeVos contacted state superintendents to let them know that there are now two possible deadlines for submission of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plans: April 03, 2017, or September 18, 2017. There is no penalty for a state’s waiting until September and not rushing to submit by April.
Nevertheless, it seems that Louisiana superintendent John White wants to rush anyway and submit an incomplete ESSA plan that does not have the support of the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA).
On March 23, 2017, LSBA Executive Director Scott Richard sent this three-page letter to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, the state board of education (BESE), and White.
LSBA’s letter addresses six primary concerns with the ESSA plan that White wants to send to the US Department of Education (USDOE) in April.
The first concerns the state slicing off an additional 3 percent of ESSA funding and redistributing it in a manner that the state sees fit:
Just as the State is struggling fiscally, local school boards have, year after year, been called upon to provide a higher and higher percentage of the cost of providing public education. Long gone are the days when the State carried 65% of the fiscal burden, compared to 35% for local districts. Recent financial data shows local school boards carrying about 50% of the costs of providing public education in Louisiana. The proposal to withhold an additional 3% of federal funds from every local school board is, therefore, very troubling.While local school boards appreciate the notion espoused by Supt. White that the LDOE will redistribute that money, the inevitable fact is the many local school boards, and the children they are tasked with educating, will suffer a net loss of funding through this process. While a few local school boards or charter schools may benefit, that benefit will be at the expense of every other local school board and charter school. The LSBA, therefore, objects to the reservation and diversion of federal funds as provided in the LDOE proposal.
The second concern is that school districts are not even aware of how the district Louisiana School Boards Assn. Confronts Louisiana’s ESSA State Plan Rush Job | deutsch29: