BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — In a turnaround, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has delayed action on a study of Louisiana's  $12 billion teachers' retirement debt.

A $143,000 study to do the review cleared a BESE committee Tuesday 8-2. But final action was delayed Wednesday until the board's March meeting amid concerns by state House Retirement Committee Chairman Kevin Pearson.

Pearson told The Advocate that he viewed the study as a waste of money since other reviews on retirement debt have been done in recent years.

Backers argued the study, to be done by LSU, would allow experts to spend a year delving into the topic and assist a task force of educators who are grappling with the issue.

Teacher unions and the Louisiana Schools Boards Association opposed the contract.

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