I had the opportunity to participate in Baker’s recent education forum. In this event as quoted in this paper, it was stated that Baker lost $500,000 of state Minimum Foundation Program money this year. After doing some research, I discovered $467,623 in MFP funding actually followed children to their new schools as it should.

Students who formerly attended schools in Baker are attending Madison Prep, the Louisiana Virtual Academy, Louisiana Connections, the Louisiana School for the Deaf and Visually Impaired, and are participating in the Louisiana Scholarship Program. What disappointed is that this $500,000 figure was presented as if the state took this money from the district.

This figure represents only 54 students, and every dollar is attributed to funding these young people’s education. It is time for leaders to realize, as many of their constituents have stated, that tax dollars for educating children should follow the children.

I would hope that in the face of the cries of frustration coming from parents in Baker, that community leaders and elected officials representing these parents will agree that there should never be a price tag on the hopes and dreams of our children.

Eric Lewis, state director

Black Alliance for Educational Options

Baton Rouge