Orleans Parish students have diverse needs; some students, such as those with disabilities or those for whom English is not their first language, require more resources than others. For schools to serve students equitably, they must receive funding from the district that directly correlates with students’ individual needs, with increased funding for those with the greatest needs. This is best achieved through differentiated funding, a national best practice in which schools receive money proportional to the time, resources and type of instruction required to educate their student population.

The Pledge: School Board members must:

(1) Maintain use of the differentiated student funding formula that applies to all OPSB schools, and establish a process for periodically evaluating the formula and adjusting it if necessary;

(2) Continue to provide existing student services such as the Youth Opportunity Center and New Orleans Therapeutic Day Program, and maintain funding for the Citywide Exceptional Needs Fund;

(3) Explore ways to expand and improve services for the most disadvantaged students and students with special education needs; and

(4) Advocate for children by acting as the community leader in developing solutions to unmet needs, such as mental and behavioral health, career and technical education, expanded access to gifted and talented programs, and early childhood education.

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