School Funding

The success of the system of public schools in New Orleans rests on many factors, but none is more important than ensuring financial health and sustainability.  The Cowen Institute works to understand the scope of the complex financial situation resulting from the fragmented and decentralized management of schools, secure adequate funding for schools, and ensure fiscal responsibility and equitable distribution of funds.  Currently, we are researching, drafting, and advancing policy and legislative recommendations to address the inequities in funding for schools, specifically addressing local and state allocations.  The Cowen Institute also works closely with the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE), the Recovery School District (RSD) and other partners to ensure both transparent and accurate financial reporting.


Cowen Institute Reports, Publications & Presentations

Louisiana’s Minimum Foundation Program Formula: Analyzing the Results
December 2011
This publication analyzes the outcomes of Louisiana’s minimum foundation program formula from many perspectives and reviews other publications that compare state funding formulas.

A Look at School-By-School Finances in New Orleans, 2009-2010: An Addendum to the March 2011 State of Public Education in New Orleans: School Finances
September 2011
This publication supplements the March 2011 with new school-level financial data for the 2009-2010 school year.

The State of Public Education in New Orleans: School Finances
March 2011
This publication describes the financial circumstances of public schools in New Orleans by providing a “bird’s eye” view of revenues and expenditures, and addresses the issues associated with a multi-district system of schools.

Louisiana Education Funding and the Southern Regional Average
August 2010
During the 2010 Regular Legislative Session, the Cowen Institute policy team testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 to increase baseline funding for schools by 2.75%.  The Cowen Institute also made a similar presentation to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) at the August 2010 board meeting.

General information on public education financing in Louisiana
April 2009
This paper provides a brief overview of the funding streams for public schools in New Orleans and Louisiana.

Public Education in New Orleans: A Financial Analysis
February 2009
This report takes a comprehensive look at publicly available financial documents for the Recovery School District (RSD), Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), and a number of individual charter schools. It also includes recommendations to improve the fiscal practices and the financial health of schools and both districts in the future.

The State of Public Education in New Orleans
These publications are part of a series that the Cowen Institute produces on a regular basis about the state of public education in New Orleans.  The reports include a comprehensive description of the current system, including information specific to school funding.


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