March 12, 2013

Superintendent's Message


Dear Colleagues,


Last week BESE approved the 2013 MFP formula. I appreciate the input many of you provided over the last month and hope you've had any questions answered. If not, please never hesitate to contact Beth Scioneaux.


I thought I might share some facts about the MFP that have repeatedly come up in conversation in recent weeks. You can find a some myths and facts here that might help resolve issues as well.

  • The MFP is calculates a the cost of education and apportions the share of that cost between the state and local districts. The state share of the MFP is a block grant; it is a lump sum and does not include dollars to be used on specific programs. Districts use the block grant to provide services they choose to provide or are required to provide, such as gifted and talented services or special education services.
  • This year BESE maintained the state contribution at 65 percent and the average local contribution at 35 percent. This means that, while the average per student cost did not increase, the total state contribution will grow by nearly $40 million, even as the state faces a $1 billion deficit.
  • If a district shows a projected increase or decrease in the state MFP contribution, it is because the district has seen an increase or decrease in enrollment or local tax revenues. To see your district's summary, click here.
  • BESE included in the MFP a pilot formula to determine the cost of special education students and students taking gifted, talented, and advanced coursework. Though these changes are projected to increase revenue, this pilot has only 10 percent of its true impact, making the typical result an increase or decrease of $10 or less per student. The pilot will measure the benefits of providing funds based on results and the individual needs of children, rather than a label alone.
  • As the MFP is a block grant, it does not determine how particular programs are provided. Special education, gifted, and talented funds remain required by individual education plans and must be funded according to those plans. There will be no cuts to these legally required services.

These are tight times in public education. You and your teams are thinking creatively about how to continue providing the best services for students, even as your financial obligations increase. Just as I am thankful that our schools have been protected from cuts, I'll be thankful when state finances are such that a per capita increase is more plausible. In the meantime, I know that you continue to do all you can and to ask the same of educators in your schools.


As always, thank you for all you do for our children.




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe


In This Issue:
Classroom Support Toolbox

Reminder: Louisiana Teacher Leader Applications Due Friday

Louisiana Teacher Leaders nominees should be leaders who excelled with their students and who have a positive influence on their school culture and support their peers.

Each district should submit one nomination that includes all the teacher leaders, principals and district staff that will participate by March 15. Each district should have:

  • One teacher for every school in the district with fewer than 1,000 students. Two teachers for every school with more than 1,000 students.
  • One principal for every 10 teacher leaders.
  • One district staff member for every 30 teacher leaders.
Districts should submit one district nomination (including their teacher, principal, and district staff nominations) by March 15 following the instructions in the nomination form. Districts and schools should use this guidance to determine the best teachers and leaders for this group. Review how many teachers, principals, and district staff each district is allowed to nominate. 
  • March 15: Districts submit their application to the LDOE
  • March 28: State releases Louisiana Teacher Leader participant list
  • April 18 & 19: Louisiana Teacher Leaders Kick Off (Lafayette, LA)
  • May 15: Pre-work for summer training sent
  • June 11 - 13: Louisiana Teacher Leaders Summer Training

District Teacher and Principal of the Year


Video instructionsregarding the instructional video submissions by teachers and waiver forms for teachers and students are now available. Districts' nominations are due back to the LDOE by April 24, 2013. Please send any questions about this process to

AP® Summer Institutes (APSI)


To encourage growth of AP®  Programs statewide, the Louisiana Department of Education is inviting new and experienced AP® teachers to participate in AP® Summer Institutes (APSI) which will take place in summer 2013.  Teachers of AP® courses, whether for the first time or as a refresher course, are invited to apply.  To apply, please complete the attached APSI Registration Fee Reimbursement Application and return it electronically to by April 15, 2013.


The new cohort graduation index recognizes a score of 3 or higher on at least one AP® exam as the highest level of achievement earned by a cohort graduate. Each student with at least one AP® score of 3 or higher will earn the maximum 150 points toward the graduation index. Students who take an AP® course and earn a 1 or 2 on an AP® exam receive 110 points toward the graduation index.


A webinar providing information on the APSI Reimbursement process is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, at 1:30 p.m.


To log in:

Tiny URL:

Meeting key: RK9NG6GN

Toll Free:   1-888-621-7121 

Event Number:  173008



APPLICATION - 2013 APSI Fee Reimbursement Packet


The School Turnaround AmeriCorps Initiative


The District Support Toolbox has updates on potential federal grant opportunities, like the School Turnaround AmeriCorps Initiative. Click here to access these opportunities. 
District Support

Early Childhood Network Pilots


The Early Childhood Community Network Pilots provide funding to increase availability of and access to high quality, publicly-funded early childhood programs. Providers including school districts, child care centers, Head Start programs and NSECD schools can apply as a community network.  For more information, click here.  Applications are due on March 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm.


2013-2014 Provider Application for Funding for LA 4, 8(g) and Nonpublic School Early Childhood Development (NSECD) Prekindergarten Programs 


Please forward to early childhood coordinators, supervisors, and directors 


The Early Childhood Education Network (Act 3) seeks to unify our state's fragmented system of early childhood education.  As part of this work, the LDE has streamlined the requirements for state-funded prekindergarten programs and developed a common application for providers. Through this common application, school districts, charter schools, nonpublic schools and eligible child care providers may apply for funds for LA 4, 8(g), and NSECD programs for the 2013-2014 school year.   


The application as well as streamlined requirements and guidelines can be found here. Please note that the deadline for submission of an application by Monday, April 1, 2013


If you have any questions regarding these materials, please contact Mary Louise Jones at (225) 342-3647 or via e-mail at


School Ready Program


In response to legislation passed in Louisiana, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), and the LSU Stephen Disaster Management Institute have established a database of school campus blueprint plans to aid in emergency preparedness and response. In light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, lawmakers are asking that GOHSEP again reach out to school districts to collect campus plans so that 100% are contained in this database. Click here for submission instructions and additional information.


Outstanding School Support Employee Awards Nominations


The 2013 Outstanding School Support Employee Awards Program application is now available. Please find the application here.The deadline to submit nominations is April 9, 2013. Please send any questions about the program to 


CIS: Compass Leader Dashboard


Last week, the Louisiana Department of Education released the Compass Teacher Dashboard. This week, the Department is releasing the Compass leader dashboard, which can be used by LEA-level users to review Compass completion and alignment metrics at the LEA and school-level for all leaders in the Compass Information System.


Please review this guide to learn more about the new report and functionality.          

Assessment & Accountability



End-of-Course (EOC) Tests Webinar: Preparing for the May 2013 EOC Administration


Please forward to district test coordinators, district technology coordinators, and district accountability coordinators


In preparation for the upcoming May 2013 Administration, district coordinators are invited to attend a webinar on the EOC tests program, April 3, 2013 from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.


Topics include:

  • Assessment Administration
  • U.S. History
  • EOC Tests System
  • Accountability Codes

To join the EOC tests webinar, follow the instructions below. 

Phone Only

    • Dial: 1-888-621-7121
    • Event Number:  876697

If you have any questions, please contact

School and Course Choice

Believe and Succeed: Louisiana's Initiative to Transform Failing Schools

WHY: The Louisiana Department of Education is committed to ensuring a better future for the almost 200,000 students currently attending D or F schools in Louisiana. While much progress has been made through the dedication and hard work of educators, more must be done if we are to reach our goal of ensuring that every child has multiple high quality educational options. To achieve this goal, the Department is announcing Believe and Succeed: Louisiana's Initiative to Transform Failing Schools.


WHO: Through Believe and Succeed, the Department will provide grants to local educational agencies, nonprofits, and individuals seeking to turnaround existing D and F schools and create new high quality autonomous schools for students who would otherwise attend under-performing schools.


WHAT: Those interested may apply for one or both of the following grants: 

  • New School Development Grants will fund the training of school leaders who will turnaround failing schools or start new schools to serve at-risk students who would otherwise attend D or F schools
  • Expanding Excellence Grants will fund the expansion of high-performing schools and school networks to serve at-risk students who would otherwise attend D or F schools

LEARN MORE: Grant applications will be available here beginning Wednesday, March 13th.

The Department also will be hosting webinars on Thursday, March 14th and Monday, March 18th, which will be posted to the Department's website. For login information, please click here.


Online Enrollment Opens for Course Choice


Online registration for the Louisiana Course Choice Program at is now available for students across the state. over 40 providers, including universities, public schools, and private providers will provide students rigorous college and career course offerings beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, including but not limited to AP, Career and Technical Education, and core academic courses.


The Department has and will continue to work with counselors to implement this program, including holding additional informational webinars and creating the Course Choice Counselor Assistance Center, a toll free hotline available at 1-877-453-2721.


Click here for additional facts about Course Choice, or for additional questions about the Course Choice Program email



FY13-14 Proposed MFP Formula


Please forward to Superintendents, Business Managers and other staff as deemed appropriate.

To provide clarity regarding the changes to the Special Education and Gifted and Talented weights in the MFP formula, the Department will host a webinar on Friday, March 15th  from 2-3pm.


To access the webinar please follow the instructions below.


1. Click the following link a few minutes before the event's scheduled start time. 

2. If prompted, enter the Meeting Key: COFIK0P9

3. When prompted, select the participant type: Participant Application (Windows User) or Web Participant (Macintosh User)

4. Once you have been logged into the event, a window will pop-up to provide you with audio options (i.e. computer-based sound or telephone dial-in information).


Should you have questions regarding this information, please contact Charlotte Stevens at or 225-342-4989.


MFP Myths vs. Facts: For additional clarity on important MFP issues click here.


NCLB Title I Comparability of Services


Comparability requires that LEAs be able to document that the services provided with State and local funds in Title I schools are comparable to those provided in non-Title I schools in the LEA. Please complete and submit the attached Comparability Report electronically to Casetta Robinson at or Joan Eskridge at, by COB, Monday, April 8, 2013. Instructions are also attached below.



Comparability Directions 3-5-13

Comparability Workbook



Increased Flexibility for Districts and Schools 


Bulletin 741 Changes Explained  


Revision: The former Carnegie credit policy provided students with three pathways for receiving Carnegie Credit:

  1. Meeting instructional time requirements and passing the course; or
  2. Obtaining a seat-time waiver; or
  3. Demonstrating proficiency on exam

Implementation: The revisions approved by the board offer LEAs two equal pathways for students to receive Carnegie Credit: either by (1) meeting the instructional time requirement of 7,965 minutes and passing the course; or (2) demonstrating proficiency through an assessment(s) or portfolio at any time throughout the year.


LEAs may offer the proficiency examination option to all students, but it may be particularly beneficial for students requiring accelerated remediation and students entering school with previously acquired knowledge or skills. The proficiency examination is not limited to one assessment and can include a progression of assessments that allow a student to move through a course at their own pace.


LEAs that choose to use the proficiency assessment or portfolio option must submit information to the Department based on the assessment or portfolio they have chosen to use. If the LEA is using a nationally recognized assessment, then only the name of the assessment is required. If the LEA is using a locally-developed assessment, then a copy of the assessment and the score considered proficient is required. The Department may work with the district to ensure local assessments accurately measure proficiency and match the level of rigor across the state. For courses where a portfolio is a better instrument to demonstrate proficiency, a listing of the requirements necessary for proficiency must be submitted.  All communication regarding this proficiency option should be directed to the Office of Content within the Department of Education. To inform the Department of proficiency exam use, email . Please note that for courses with an End-of-Course exam, the state exam must be used to demonstrate proficiency.


Lastly, though the middle school Carnegie course section was struck in the Bulletin 741 revisions, middle schools are still able, and encouraged, to offer Carnegie courses. The new Carnegie credit section, §2314, includes middle schools in the policy. In addition, middle schools are now able to offer Carnegie credit courses in every subject except physical education.



March Data Coordinator Webinar


The monthly Data Coordinator's Webinar for March will be held on March 20, 2013 from 2:00PM to 3:00PM. To join the iMeeting, log onto Blackboard for the link and instructions.


Education In The News 


Virtual school enrollment rising


Districts moving to address virtual needs


LSMSA to participate in  "Course Choice" program


Eric Cantor touts Gov. Jindal's voucher policies during New Orleans visit


$3.4 billion school funding plan OK'd by BESE, heads to legislature 



LDOE Contacts
John White
State Superintendent of Education
Twitter @LouisianaSupe

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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