EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 01-47

EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 01-47

School Finance Review Commission


WHEREAS, Article VIII, Section 13(B) of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, as amended, provides that the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (hereafter "BESE"), "shall annually develop and adopt a formula which shall be used to determine the cost of a minimum foundation program of education in all public elementary and secondary schools as well as to equitably allocate the funds to parish and city school systems" and that the Louisiana Legislature "shall annually appropriate funds sufficient to fully fund the current cost to the state of such a program as determined by applying the approved formula in order to insure a minimum foundation of education in all public elementary and secondary schools" (hereafter "MFP formula");

WHEREAS, the School Finance Commission, a year and a half cooperative partnership between the Office of the Governor, Louisiana Legislature, and BESE (collectively hereafter "cooperative partnership"), was created through Executive Order No. MJF 99-41, issued on August 26, 1999, to make recommendations regarding the funding methods, the adequacy of funding, and the equitable distribution of funding, for public elementary and secondary schools; and

WHEREAS, as high quality public elementary and secondary schools are essential to the economic development and long-term economic success of the state of Louisiana, the best interests of the citizens of the state of Louisiana will be served by recreating the cooperative partnership through a commission that is charged with reviewing and reevaluating the recommendations of the School Finance Commission and annually analyzing, prioritizing, and making recommendations regarding the MFP formula and related public elementary and secondary school funding issues;

NOW THEREFORE, I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: The School Finance Review Commission (hereafter "Commission") is established within the executive department, Office of the Governor, as a partnership of the Office of the Governor, the Louisiana Legislature, and State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (hereafter "BESE").

SECTION 2: The Commission's duties and functions shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

A. In 2001-2002, reevaluating and revising as necessary, the recommendations contained in the report of the School Finance Commission created by Executive Order No. MJF 99-41, issued on August 26, 1999, specifically regarding, but not limited to the following:

(1) the equity and adequacy of funding to parish and city school systems as per the minimum foundation program (hereafter "MFP");

(2) state appropriations to hold-harmless local school districts;

(3) the differentiation of state and local shares in each part of the MFP;

(4) teacher pay, including the establishment of a target statewide average teacher salary; and

(5) BESE's revision of a uniform statewide teacher salary schedule; thereafter, annually reevaluating and revising as necessary, the recommendations contained in the Commission's most recent annual report;

B. Annually researching, analyzing, and making recommendations regarding the funding of public elementary and secondary schools and related issues, particularly pertaining to the following matters:

(1) the equity and adequacy of state funding to parish and city school systems as per the MFP relating specifically, but not limited, to a) the cost of educating high poverty and special education children and b) employee health care expenses;

(2) spending priorities on the parish and city school system level related to

a) differences by categories of state level and district level spending of MFP funds among parish and city school systems,

b) the appropriateness of increasing the state's responsibility for expenditures directly related to classroom instruction and increasing the responsibility of parish and city school systems for expenditures not directly related to classroom instruction,

c) costs other than classroom expenditures incurred by parish and city school systems and the role of those costs within the MFP formula,

d) the appropriateness of using incentives via the MFP formula to encourage parish and city school system spending practices that are consistent with a state-identified expenditure model for producing the highest level of student achievement,

e) the feasibility of providing such incentives, and

f) restrictions on parish and city school systems regarding local revenue increases;

(3) linking accountability to the MFP formula regarding

a) the appropriateness of linking accountability scores, results, etc., to increases or changes in funding by expenditure category and/or in the aggregate,

b) the feasibility of creating such links while maintaining funding equity, and

c) options for creating and/or constructing such links; and

(4) teacher pay related to

a) equitable distribution of state funding,

b) salary equity among parish and city school systems,

c) differentiated hiring and personnel practices and/or student-teacher ratios, and

d) specified recipients of targeted salary increases;

C. Annually compiling and prioritizing a limited list of the most relevant issues related to funding of public elementary and secondary schools; researching and/or analyzing the issues as needed; and issuing findings and recommendations; and

D. Annually issuing revised recommendations as necessary, regarding the issues set forth in subsections 2A, 2B, and 2C, for every year in which the Commission is convened.

SECTION 3: The Commission shall submit to the governor, the president of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and BESE an annual report by March 1, 2002, and by March 1, or a date specified by the commission, of every year hereafter, in which the Commission is convened.

SECTION 4: With the exception of the members of the Louisiana Legislature, all members of the Commission shall be appointed by the governor. All non-ex-officio members shall serve at the governor's pleasure. The Commission shall be composed of thirty-four (34) members selected as follows:

A. the governor, or the governor's designee;

B. the commissioner of administration, or the commissioner's designee;

C. five (5) members of the Senate, appointed by the president of the Senate, including the chairs of the Senate Committee on Education and Senate Committee on Finance;

D. five (5) members of the House of Representatives appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, including the chairs of the House Committee on Education and the House Committee on Appropriations;

E. five (5) members of BESE;

F. the superintendent of the Department of Education, or the superintendent's designee;

G. one (1) representative of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers;

H. one (1) representative of the Louisiana Association of Educators;

I. one (1) representative of the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana;

J. six (6) representatives of school districts and/or local school boards; and

K. seven (7) representatives of business, education, and/or local communities.

SECTION 5: The governor shall appoint the chair and/or co-chairs of the Commission. All other officers, if any, shall be elected by the membership of the Commission.

SECTION 6: The Commission shall meet at regularly scheduled intervals and at the call of the chair.

SECTION 7: The Commission shall provide the opportunity for public input from legislators, BESE members, parish and city school system officials, community leaders, parents, and/or other persons not serving on the Commission.

SECTION 8: Support staff, facilities, and resources for the Commission shall be provided by the Office of the Governor, BESE, and/or other interested entities, as coordinated by the Office of the Governor.

SECTION 9:

A. Commission members shall not receive additional compensation or a per diem from the Office of the Governor for serving on the Commission.

B. Commission members who are an employee or an elected public official of the state of Louisiana or a political subdivision of the state of Louisiana may seek reimbursement of travel expenses, in accordance with PPM 49, from their employing and/or elected department, agency, and/or office.

C. Commission members who are also a member of the Louisiana Legislature or BESE may seek a per diem from the House of Representatives, Senate, or BESE, as appropriate, for their attendance at Commission meetings and/or service on the Commission.

SECTION 10: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Commission in implementing the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 11: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 19th day of October, 2001.

M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
Governor

ATTEST BY
THE GOVERNOR
Fox McKeithen
Secretary of State