BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's public elementary and secondary schools would get a $3.7 billion financing formula next year without any inflationary increases, under a plan advancing in the state Senate.

The formula , submitted by the state education board, won easy approval Thursday from the Senate Education Committee. It would pay for more than 700,000 students in the 2018-19 school year.

The amount paid per student would remain frozen at the current rate of $3,961. But the formula would grow slightly to account for an expected increase of nearly 2,800 students.

Education leaders have sought more money to boost teacher pay and cover rising expenses. But lawmakers have resisted such increases amid continued state budget gaps.

The formula moves next to the Senate budget committee for review.