Covering Louisiana

May 21, 2012 4:38 PM by AP

$3.4B school funding formula sails through Senate

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Senate has approved a $3.4 billion public school funding formula that also will help finance Gov. Bobby Jindal's new statewide voucher program to send students to private schools with taxpayer money.

Senators spent little time Monday discussing the multibillion dollar spending plans before voting 26-10 for the formula.

The proposal will keep spending per student flat for a fourth straight year. The only financing increase, about $33 million, comes because new students have been added to the formula.

Lawmakers can only approve or reject the formula, called the Minimum Foundation Program or MFP, submitted by the state education board.

Critics of the voucher program have said they expect to file a lawsuit challenging the planned financing through a formula that was designed to pay for public schools.

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