FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 26, 1999
CONTACT: BRENDA HODGE
Want to know what is happening to your tax dollars in Louisiana's public schools? Well,the Louisiana State Senate is trying to make it easier for you to find out. The first of a series ofreports requested by the State Senate and produced by the State Legislative Auditor are nowavailable on the Internet. Additional reports from the State Legislative Auditor and theDepartment of Education will be available in the coming weeks.
Last Spring, the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Finance Committee joinedforces to get a better idea of exactly what is happening to the money the state spends on publicschools. Concerned about unreliable information and conflicting numbers, Senators asked theState Legislative Auditor and the Department of Education for a series of audits and reports onspecific education spending issues.
"We just want to make the information available," Senate Education CommitteeChairman Tom Greene said. "We want to give citizens across the state some insight into howtheir tax dollars are being spent. After all, the state spends over a third of its budget oneducation."
The first series of reports on education spending are available on the Internet atlegis.la.gov/sen/topics/seduc/1-25-99.htm , a special section of the Senate home page.The first report produced by the State Legislative Auditor is Study of Education Issues in NineLouisiana School Districts. This report examines various education spending issues as theyrelate to the following school districts - Calcasieu Parish, City of Monroe, East Baton RougeParish, Jackson Parish, Ouachita Parish, Orleans Parish, Pointe Coupee Parish, St. John theBaptist Parish and St. Landry Parish. Teacher salaries, classroom instruction spending,administrative costs, student-teacher ratios and lawsuit costs are some of the issues examined inthe report. The second report, Research of Education Issues in Southern Regional EducationBoard States reviews some of the same spending issues as they relate to fifteen other states thatmake up the southern region.
The Senate Education and Finance Committees are continuing their review of educationspending in public schools. Future meetings are planned to review a report on spending andeffectiveness of the various Head Start programs across the state and to further discuss aDepartment of Education report on the costs associated with extended sick leave and rest andrecuperation sabbatical leave in public schools.
If you would like to comment on the education spending information now available onthe Internet, you may e-mail the Senate Education Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org .