BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved a $3.5 billion school funding formula for next year to recommend to state lawmakers.

The financing plan was backed in a 7-2 vote Thursday, over the opposition of local school superintendents and boards.

Local school leaders say the formula shortchanges them of the money they need to educate children, meet escalating retirement costs and cope with new education standards.

BESE held a special meeting to meet a submission deadline to lawmakers.

The formula would pay for the operations of 69 public school districts for the 2014-15 school year. New dollars would pay for technical training, special education and growing student enrollment.

Superintendents and school boards wanted an additional, inflationary increase and had other objections about items included in the formula.