BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A pilot project in New Orleans could pave the way for sweeping changes in how the state funds special education students.

The Advocate reports the plan is focused on providing services based on need for about 3,500 students in the Recovery School District in New Orleans. The pilot project in New Orleans bases funding on the student's disability and the service provided.

Under current rules, most of Louisiana's roughly 83,000 special education students get the same state aid regardless of their disability — generally 150 percent of what rank-and-file students get.

But state Superintendent of Education John White said the aim is to expand the New Orleans changes statewide, possibly for the 2015-16 school year. He says the pilot project would rearrange spending in a more equitable manner.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.