The Lafayette Parish School Board has joined a lawsuit that says Louisiana owes its schools three years in backpay.

The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board filed the suit last year after the Louisiana Supreme Court struck down the state's 2012 K-12 education funding plan on procedural grounds. Its previous funding law calls for a 2.75 percent increase in the budget if it's reinstated.

Forty-eight of the state's 69 school boards have joined the suit, with Assumption and Lafayette Parishes joining each at their Feb. 19 board meetings.

The suit comes as the Lafayette School System faces a $15 million budget shortfall.

The board also discussed last night redistributing $20 million of $60 million in reserve funds to cover the deficit.

Some of that deficit comes from reductions in state funding as it increases requirements for technology enhancements, as well as diverted MFP dollars used to fund the charter schools on its way to Lafayette Parish.

If the plaintiffs are successful — the suit is versus the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the State Department of Ed — it could mean an additional $199 million for Louisiana's public schools.