After earlier funding threats, public schools are expected to emerge from the special session mostly unscathed when the gathering ends at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Education should fare pretty well, I am pretty sure,” state Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge and a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, said Wednesday morning.

The state House initially considered a highly unusual, $44 million cut in state aid for schools for the current school year.

That plan was then shelved, and the House instead approved legislation that would trim spending by the state Department of Education by $52 million.

State Superintendent of Education John White said such a move would decimate Louisiana’s voucher, testing and other programs.

But the Senate Finance Committee has since trimed those proposed reductions to $2.5 million, which White said last week is manageable.

The issue is pending in a House-Senate conference committee.

Negotiators have to agree on a compromise, then that revamped measure has to win approval in the state House and Senate by 6 p.m.

The proposal is House Bill 122 by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Cameron Henry, R-Metairie.

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