Gov. John Bel Edwards Tuesday morning repeated his pledge to try to keep state aid to public schools at current levels.

“You have to shield some things in state government,” Edwards told Louisiana School Boards Association members in Baton Rouge for their annual convention.

State school aid, which totals $3.7 billion, is parceled through a formula called the Minimum Foundation Program, or MFP.

The Legislature is in the third day of a special session to tackle a shortfall of about $900 million.

A $2 billion shortfall looms for the financial year that begins July 1, which includes the 2016-17 school year.

Edwards urged school board members to contact state lawmakers and encourage them to protect MFP spending.

The LSBA includes 643 members, and about 400 are attending the conference, said Scott Richard, executive director of the group.

Another 55 superintendents from around the state are also attending.

Earlier some education leaders predicted that, because of state financial problems, state school dollars might be cut this year, which would be highly unusual.

The LSBA does not endorse gubernatorial candidates.

However, the governor is often aligned with the group on key issues.

Also, Edwards got the most applause during a gubernatorial forum last year at the LSBA’s annual meeting in Shreveport.

Check back later with The Advocate for more details.

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