The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) are meeting to decide certain education issues taking place in the state under Gov. Jindal.
Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau , who taught special ed in Erath for 12 years, along with The Arc of Vermilion Executive Director Scottie Daigle and other school personnel are hoping to express their concerns to BESE over the proposed cuts to special education by Jindal.
The BESE Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. to discus the refunding of special education students.
Today, the state gives each district $10,000 for each special education student, compared to $4,000 for regular students.
The state is looking at ways to redistribute MFP funding for special education students because less than 30 percent of special education students are graduating high school.
State Superintendent John White plans to explain to the 11 BESE Board members on how he wants to create a new formula to help special education students.
Holly Boffy, who is an Abbeville High graduate, is one of the 11 BESE members. She and other BESE members will listen to White’s presentation, then there will be a public hearing to listen to people in the audience.
After everyone talks, the BESE Board will vote for or against White’s proposal.
“This is not about cutting money from special education students,” said Boffy. “It is about how to distribute the money. I represent nine districts; some districts will be getting more money based on what Superintendent White is proposing.”
In the past if a student was classified as “special ed,” despite their medical condition, the state automatically sent each district $10,000 per student. Boffy said the way the system is set up now, the district has no incentive to remove a student from special ed category because it would mean a loss of funding for the district. A special ed student gets $10,000 from the state, whereas, a regular student gets $4,000 from the state.
“We are trying to find a way that is good for the student,” said Boffy. “We want the districts to have an incentive to want to help a student to not be a special ed student.”
Boffy said a student with “high needs” will still be getting $10,000 from the state like in the past.