April 8 is the beginning of the 2013 Louisiana Legislative Session. In preparation, LAPCS staff has spent time over the last few months meeting with legislators and other stakeholders to discuss issues they believe will be a part of the session.
As this is a fiscal session, eyes are on the budget and the difficult decisions that lay ahead. However, legislators still have the opportunity to bring non-fiscal bills to the session - although limited in number - and there are quite a few K-12 related bills that we will be tracking. You can follow that work with the LAPCS Legislative Tracker
where we will provide a brief summary of K-12 related bills, and regularly update their progress through the legislative process.
The LAPCS fully expects that there will be much debate surrounding the MFP resolution. BESE has already passed and sent the MFP resolution to the legislature (as required by law) for their approval. At times, the legislature has sent it back to BESE with requests for changes; some predict that will be the case this year, including a request that BESE insert the 2.75% increase that has not been part of the MFP over the past four years. While it is unclear if such an increase will be possible, LAPCS will, at minimum, continue to advocate the need to consider more innovative, performance and incentive based allocations in the MFP. K-12 budget concerns will be further exacerbated by federal budget issues, including the projection by National Alliance for Public Charter Schools that Louisiana is currently slated to lose over $24 million in Title 1 and IDEA money due to sequestration
Furthermore, because there has yet to be a ruling from the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of funding the Scholarship Program through the MFP, the timing of when the legislature debates the resolution will be important.
The LAPCS will send out updates and action alerts throughout the session, but you can also check the LAPCS Legislative Tracker
to stay up-to-date as items move.
In the coming days LAPCS will hold a discussion for membership regarding legislation, so stay tuned.