Judge: State should pay $137M more to local school districts
BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge judge says the state owes local public schools $137 million because lawmakers didn't properly pass previous school funding formulas.
Judge Janice Clark issued her decision Monday.
The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board filed a lawsuit claiming the Legislature didn't meet passage requirements for the formula used in the 2013-14 budget year. Half of local school boards joined the lawsuit.
The boards argued the last properly-approved formula came in 2009 and districts should be paid under that formula, which included an inflationary increase.
Clark ruled for the boards.
Lawyer Jimmy Faircloth, representing the state, expected to appeal. He argued the formula being challenged was expired and couldn't be disputed.
Another judge has dismissed school board claims involving a different year's formula. That ruling is on appeal.