Legislative auditor: School aid needs better accuracy

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – An audit finds the state should change the way annual school aid requests are formulated to avoid mid-year budget shortfalls.

Under current methods, Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said in an audit issued Monday the Legislature has had to come up with up to $56 million in extra aid after the initial appropriation because initial student enrollment estimates were off target.

Rather than using historically low estimates from Feb. 1 of the previous school year, he said, forecasters should rely on more accurate projections on student count crafted by the state Department of Education to better gauge how much will be needed.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1BoLnsv ) state school aid helps finance the education for about 720,000 students statewide.

The money goes through a complex formula called the Minimum Foundation Program.

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