A Louisiana school district had estimated it will spend about $4.6 million this year to help meet the needs of immigrant students. Officials now anticipate spending an additional $1 million for English-language services for all students.
As Louisiana transitions to administering standardized tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards, state Superintendent John White has proposed that schools' letter grades will decline by no more than one grade this year -- no matter how students score on the exams. The announcement follows the release of scores in New York state and elsewhere showing dramatic decreases in student achievement under the exams.
The Gretna, La., City Council is delaying spending discretionary funds in the 2013-2014 budget to protect the city from unplanned, weather-related expenses that could arise during hurricane season. Last year, Hurricane Isaac cost the city about $2 million, but the emergency fund had only $490,000. "I want to make sure we've got something in the bucket if we have to go to the bucket to get ourselves out of trouble," Councilman Wayne Rau said.
Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is poised to spend $640.3 million for 117 projects to rehabilitate coastal areas and improve flood protection under a $767.3 million annual plan adopted for fiscal 2014. Residents in areas at risk of a 100-year flood are facing gradual but significant increases in flood insurance rates, said Ross Richardson of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Lawmakers on the Louisiana Senate Education Committee voted Thursday to advance a package of education reforms that includes a plan to expand charter schools and change the state's policies on teacher tenure. The reforms also include a new statewide system for using public funding to allow students to attend private schools. The packages is expected to be considered by the full state Senate as early as next week.