LDOE Faces Roughly $4 Million in Cuts for 2015-16
Louisiana Rep. Cameron Henry’s HB 122 made it through the House-Senate conference committee and was adopted by both House and Senate late Wednesday afternoon, March 09, 2016.
When it headed for the Senate on February 25, 2016, the bill included $44.2 million in state general fund cuts to LDOE, in addition to $2.5 million in cuts specifically to “state activities” and another $5 million in reductions to “nonpublic education assistance.”
On March 04, 2016, the Senate passed several amendments to HB 122, including reducing the $44.2 million to $1.4 million and removing the $5 million nonpublic assistance cut.
In the version of the bill that emerged from conference (and was adopted by both houses), both the $1.4 million state general fund cut and $2.5 million “state activities” cut remained:
SCHEDULE 19– DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
19-678 State Activities ($2,500,000)
The commissioner of administration is authorized and directed to reduce out of the State General Fund (Direct) appropriation to Schedule 19D the Department of Education as contained in Act 16 of the 2015 Regular Session ($1,400,000). Such reduction shall be allocated among all department budget units at the discretion of the commissioner of administration. Provided, however, that such reduction shall not be to either local education agencies or early childhood education programs. Provided, further, that such reduction shall not apply to 19-695 Minimum Foundation Program.
Thus, it looks like LDOE will have to live with $3.9 million less than anticipated for 2015-16.
The exact manner of the cuts is currently in the works. According to HB 122, the state treasurer has ten days to make the determined fiscal adjustments, unless there is a problem (in which case the state treasurer must notify the commissioner of administration and the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget). Even then, the adjustments must be accomplished by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2016).