Educators fight over new funding formula for New Orleans schools - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Educators fight over new funding formula for New Orleans schools

Heated fight between educators over new funding formula. (FOX 8 Photo) Heated fight between educators over new funding formula. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

There's a heated fight between educators over a new funding formula for New Orleans schools. 

Jennifer and Chris Lyman say the new formula is just what their son, Bower, needs.

"I think that our son, who has significant special needs, does cost more," said Chris Lyman. "We know that to educate others may not cost as much, and this formula just fairly and equitably recognizes that fundamental fact and that's all we're asking for, that's all we're supporting." 

The State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the new funding formula Thursday. But schools like Ben Franklin, Lusher, Audubon Charter, Lake Forest Charter and others are challenging it. They say it's unfair, flawed and changes the amount of money given to schools for special education and gifted and talented programs.

"One of the things that's the most unfair about this is it puts New Orleans charter schools in a very volatile situation, uncertain what their funding is going to be, and that is not being imposed anywhere else in the state," said James Brown, an attorney representing some of the charter schools. "And that's just simply wrong. I would submit, not only is it unconstitutional, it's just wrong."

But Tuesday, educators with the Recovery School District, Orleans Parish School Board and others announced their support for the new formula. In a letter to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education , they say the formula, "appropriately prioritizes scarce resources for the most vulnerable children in our city, including special education students, English language learners, and overaged students. "
 
The Lymans are also asking the State Board of Education to approve the new funding formula, saying it's the right thing to do for students like Bower.

"Students like Bower who have extra needs and who need additional support in the classroom and extra therapy and the variety of things that he needs cost a lot more, and we're here to ensure that he continues to receive the services that he needs with the appropriate funding," Jennifer Lyman said. 

The charter schools we mentioned say they have concerns and questions about the new formula. They tell us they they have repeatedly asked for clarification on the issue, and are asking the Board of Education to delay their vote for 30 days until they can get those answers. 

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