Mar 24, 2010 1:50 PM by Melissa Canone
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's education chief defended
Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to shift $20 million in expenses paid
by the state today to local school districts next year.
Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek says districts have
fund balances and stimulus dollars available to them that can help
cover those costs.
Jindal's budget for the upcoming fiscal year proposes that local
public school districts begin paying the costs of stipends for
teachers and counselors that get national certifications and
transportation for nonpublic schools.
Pastorek told the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday
it's reasonable to shift those costs to the school districts
because of state budget problems.
Rep. Patricia Smith, of Baton Rouge, says districts are
struggling to cover the costs of increases in retirement and health
care and can't afford the governor's proposal.