• Swamp Watch

How Much Are School Boards Giving to LSBA?

School Boards Give Tens of Thousands in Taxpayer Dollars to Support LSBA's Taxpayer Funded Lobbying

The Louisiana School Boards Association gets much of the funding for its lobbying efforts from dues and other payments from local school boards- which are, of course, funded by your tax dollars.

While we know LSBA collects nearly $750,000 annually in dues, there has never been much transparency behind how much in taxpayer dollars from each school district goes to LSBA, and how much LSBA receives from school boards in payments beyond their dues.

We've requested data from several school boards on their payments to LSBA- the process they think is best for any taxpayer who wants to see how school districts spend your money, and can shed some light on exactly how much taxpayers are giving for the LSBA to lobby against their best interest.

West Baton Rouge Parish, for example, paid the LSBA $9,294 for dues in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Helpfully, West Baton Rouge Parish's school board also provided the full break-down for how LSBA dues are calculated, which you can see below. School boards pay a set amount in dues based on their total revenue, plus an additional .2% of their revenue. The WBR School Board's annual revenue of $64,693,742 put them in the $50,000,001-$100,000,000 category, for which standard dues are $8,000.

In Jefferson Parish, the state's largest school district, taxpayers gave LSBA over $30,000 for dues, according to records. But, that accounted for less than half of what Jefferson Parish taxpayers sent to LSBA- a whopping $85,268 in total.

Of course, the LSBA has been the lead voice in making this information harder for parents and taxpayers to obtain by working to kill efforts to require school board expenditures be posted online two years in a row. One of their arguments? It would simply cost school boards too much to be transparent with your tax dollars.

Well, according to state budget analysts, the cost to school boards would be about $15,000- less than many school boards give to LSBA. Transparency sounds like a much better use of $15,000 in taxpayer dollars than funding a left-leaning organization who actively works against the best interest of Louisiana families and taxpayers. Perhaps school board leaders who want to be transparent could pull out of LSBA, and use those funds to give transparency to taxpayers?

Click here to read our previous pieces on LSBA's lobbying, taxpayer funding, and support for progressive policy agendas.

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