Public education in Louisiana

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K-12 Education in Louisiana
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Education facts
State Superintendent: John White
Number of students: 703,390[1]
Number of teachers: 48,657
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:14.5
Number of school districts: 132
Number of schools: 1,437
Graduation rate: 72%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $10,723[3]
See also
Louisiana Department of Education
Louisiana school districts
List of school districts in Louisiana
Louisiana
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Louisiana
Glossary of education terms
Note: The statistics on this page are mainly from government sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. Figures given are the most recent as of June 2014, with school years noted in the text or footnotes.
The Louisiana public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 Louisiana had 703,390 students enrolled in a total of 1,437 schools in 132 school districts. There were 48,657 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 15 students, compared to the national average of 1:16. There is roughly one administrator for every 244 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Louisiana spent $10,723 per pupil in 2011, which ranks it 23rd highest in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 72 percent in 2012.[5]

State agencies

The Louisiana Department of Education is helmed by the Superintendent of Education, who is appointed by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The current Superintendent of Education is John White.[6]

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) is the administrative body governing the state's public elementary and secondary schools as well as some non-public schools. The board is comprised of 11 members, eight of whom are elected by district and three of whom are appointed by the Governor to represent the state at-large. Members serve four-year terms.[7]

The mission statement of BESE reads:[8]

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall provide leadership and create policies for education that expand opportunities for children, empower families and communities, and advance Louisiana in an increasingly competitive global market.[9]

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Louisiana State Board of Education adopted the standards on July 1, 2010. Full implementation took place during the 2013-2014 academic year.[10][11]

In June 2014, Governor Bobby Jindal made an executive order that would effectively, albeit indirectly, withdraw Louisiana from Common Core. The order required competitive bidding for education standards tests. Because the Common Core testing program is among the most expensive of these tests, it is unlikely that the tests could be purchased is a competitive bidding process. Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White, however, insisted that the state would continue with Common Core. White said, "The state will continue to implement the Common Core Standards [...] this is a long term plan we have been working on for four years and committed to another 10 years of implementation. We are not willing to subject our children to last minute changes to throw our system into educational chaos."[12][13]

Regional comparison

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Education policy in the U.S.
Public education in the U.S.

Education statistics
State Education Information
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See also
See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Louisiana compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Louisiana 1,437 132 703,390 48,657 1:14.5 1:244.3 $10,723
Alabama 1,618 170 744,621 47,723 1:15.6 1:293.5 $8,813
Arkansas 1,108 289 483,114 33,983 1:14.2 1:271.3 $9,353
Mississippi 1,069 163 490,619 32,007 1:15.3 1:251 $7,928
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 1:16 1:295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Louisiana as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[14]

Demographic information for Louisiana's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 5,479 0.78% 1.10%
Asian 10,300 1.46% 4.68%
African American 316,947 45.06% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 427 0.06% 0.42%
Hispanic 28,276 4.02% 24.37%
White 333,736 47.45% 51.21%
Two or more 8,225 1.17% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

A plurality of students in Louisiana attend rural schools. Approximately 55 percent of the state's students attend rural or town schools, compared to approximately 45 percent who attend city or suburban schools.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural schools
Louisiana 20.7% 24.5% 19.6% 35.2%
Alabama 20.6% 16.9% 14.4% 48%
Arkansas 25.8% 9.6% 20.3% 44.3%
Mississippi 10% 8.9% 28.9% 52.2%
U.S. average 28.9% 34% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)

Academic performance

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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi), Louisiana tied with Mississippi for the lowest percentage of fourth grade students who scored at or above proficient in math.[15]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Louisiana 26 21 23 24
Alabama 38 20 31 25
Arkansas 39 28 32 30
Mississippi 26 21 21 20
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state
See also: ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates and average composite ACT and SAT scores for Louisiana and surrounding states.[15][16][17]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Louisiana 72% Fourth 20.3 100% 1,741 5%
Alabama 75% Fourth 20.3 86% 1,608 7%
Arkansas 84% Second 20.3 88% 1,697 4%
Mississippi 75% Fourth 18.7 100% 1,673 3%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1,498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Louisiana was higher than the national average at 3.9 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 5.7 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[18]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Louisiana

School choice options in Louisiana include: charter schools, school vouchers, school choice tax credits, intra-district and inter-district enrollment policies and online learning programs. In addition, about 16.31 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Louisiana state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 18.4 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is up 3.20 percentage points, or 21.1 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 15.2 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[19][20][21][22][23]

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Louisiana 18.4% $10,723 19.11% 41.43% 39.46%
Alabama 20.9% $8,813 14.6% 53.77% 31.63%
Arkansas 16.3% $9,353 16.02% 51.2% 32.77%
Mississippi 16.9% $7,928 22.33% 45.95% 31.72%
Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Louisiana totaled approximately $8.2 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Louisiana and surrounding states.[24]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Louisiana $1,570,393 $3,404,656 $3,242,171 $8,217,220
Alabama $1,077,070 $3,965,614 $2,332,472 $7,375,156
Arkansas $834,685 $2,667,090 $1,707,234 $5,209,009
Mississippi $1,006,465 $2,071,467 $1,429,770 $4,507,702
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Louisiana totaled approximately $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Louisiana and surrounding states.[24]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
Louisiana $7,440,499 $812,768 $149,430 $8,402,697
Alabama $6,582,496 $564,183 $255,905 $7,402,584
Arkansas $4,495,309 $607,962 $578,992 $5,682,263
Mississippi $3,888,831 $368,906 $88,046 $4,345,783
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Louisiana, the average salary increased by 13.6 percent.[25]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Louisiana $45,246 $52,201 $51,014 $51,381 13.6%
Alabama $50,139 $50,779 $48,802 $47,949 -4.4%
Arkansas $45,625 $49,850 $47,085 $46,632 2.2%
Mississippi $43,535 $48,722 $42,339 $41,994 -3.5%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Louisiana ranked 42nd overall, or "weakest," which was in the fifth of five tiers.[26]

The main unions related to the Louisiana school system are the Louisiana Association of Educators (LEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT). LEA is the largest education association in the state. For the 2003 tax period LEA had: $3.6 million in total revenue, $3.2 million in total expenses and $3.7 million in total assets.[27] For the same period, LFT had: $1.8 million in total revenue, $2.4 million in total expenses and $826,009 in total assets.[28]

List of local Louisiana school unions:[29]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Louisiana government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Louisiana School Boards Association.

Transparency

On November 12, 2008 Louisiana launched a spending transparency database, Louisiana Transparency and Accountability (La TRAC). La TRAC contains all executive branch spending for the state of Louisiana, including higher education. It also includes a vendor search, as well as a link to performance evaluations for state agencies (through La PAS).

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Louisiana ballot measures


Ballotpedia staff have tracked 12 statewide ballot measures relating to education.

  1. Louisiana Appointment to the Board of Regents Guidelines, Amendment 2 (1998)
  2. Louisiana Appropriations for Education, Amendment 7 (Oct 1999)
  3. Louisiana Central Community School System Act, Amendment 8 (2006)
  4. Louisiana Colleges to Acquire Stock, Amendment 8 (October 1990)
  5. Louisiana Education Act, Ballot Measure 4 (Oct 2003)
  6. Louisiana Endowed Funds of Colleges and Universities Act, Amendment 10 (September 2006)
  7. Louisiana Higher Education to Invest in Stock, Amendment 8 (2002)
  8. Louisiana Lottery Proceeds for Education Act, Ballot Measure 9 (Oct 2003)
  9. Louisiana Name of Board of Trustees of University of Louisiana System, Amendment 1 (1998)
  10. Louisiana Rapides Parish School Grant, Amendment 9 (Oct 1999)
  11. Louisiana School Board Financial Burden Prohibition, Amendment 9 (September 2006)
  12. Louisiana Zachary School System, Amendment 3 (1999)

Studies and reports

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

See also

External links

Additional reading

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. Louisiana Department of Education, "Meet John White," accessed May 19, 2014
  7. Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, "Structure," accessed May 19, 2014
  8. Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, "Vision, Mission, Philosophy, Goals," accessed May 19, 2014
  9. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
  11. Louisiana Department of Education, "Common Core State Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
  12. Fox News, "Jindal order would make Louisiana latest state to pull out of Common Core," June 18, 2014
  13. The Times-Picayune, "Gov. Bobby Jindal's attempt to scuttle Common Core leaves Louisiana education system in confusion," June 18, 2014
  14. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  16. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  17. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  18. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  19. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  20. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  21. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  22. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  23. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  25. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  26. Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  27. Center for Union Facts, "Louisiana Association of Educators," accessed September 1, 2009
  28. Center for Union Facts, "Louisiana Federation of Teachers," accessed September 1, 2009
  29. Center for Union Facts, "Louisiana teachers unions," accessed September 1, 2009