- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An appeals court is set to hear arguments Feb. 12 in a dispute over whether the state or individual school boards are obligated to pay the employer’s share of contributions to a retirement system for school employees.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1bcyFhp ) state District Judge Kay Bates dismissed a suit in April that 47 school boards from across the state filed against the Louisiana School Employees Retirement System.

The school boards contend they shouldn’t have to pay the employer contributions to the retirement system from the funds they receive through the state’s Minimum Foundation Program. The MFP is the annual source of basic aid for public schools and helps fund school operations, teacher salaries and other expenses.

The school boards claim the Legislature should make a separate appropriation directly to the retirement system.

“MFP dollars should be dedicated to true costs associated with educating students,” said Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association, on Thursday.

Richard said the school boards hope to prevail at the appellate court level but will pursue the matter to the Louisiana Supreme Court if it proves necessary.

He added the school boards “hope to work with legislators to ensure that our retirement systems remain solvent.”

Charles Bujol, executive director of the Louisiana School Employees Retirement System, said LSERS “was very pleased with Judge Bates‘ decision and we believe that it will be affirmed” by the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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