After a decade of stagnant financing or deep cuts, public education came out of Louisiana’s legislative session as one of the big winners, with new money for rising costs, pay raises and expansion plans.

State spending on higher education will grow by $47 million in the $30 billion-plus state operating budget that starts July 1. Early learning programs for children from birth to 4 years old will see up to $19 million in new state financing. K-12 public schools are getting $140 million in increased state dollars for the 2019-20 school year, largely tied to statewide pay raises for teachers and support workers.

“We kept our eye on the prize, the investment in our children,” Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said shortly after the legislative

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