Thursday, August 12, 2010

Congress Approves Education Jobs Funding

President O'Bama signed legislation Wednesday containing Senate Amendment 4575 to HR 1586  that should go a long way in helping to prevent teacher and school employee layoffs caused by the freezing of the MFP by the Legislature. According to Senator Landreu's website, the extra funding for Louisiana Schools will amount to 147 million dollars.

The legislation specifies that the extra funding must be used to pay for employee job related costs. It cannot be used to increase the surplus funds of the local school system or for costs of materials, utilities, equipment, transportation and supplies. My interpretation is that the funding could be used to pay for both salaries of education employes and the increased cost of retirement for all school employees because this is an employee related cost.

The amendment also specifies that the funding will be distributed by the state through the State Distribution formula on a per student basis. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan said the money should be going to local school systems within a matter of weeks. The object was to prevent possible teacher layoffs at the beginning of the school year.

If any Governor refuses to file the necessary application as specified by the law, the federal Department of Education may make the distribution directly to local school systems.

All of the above leads me to believe that each Louisiana local school system will receive a fair share of the 147 million dollars regardless of any political maneuvering by the Governor.
Important Note: For more details about the legislation and what it means for Louisiana simply click on each of the highlighted sections above to see the actual provisions of the legislation.

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