School Board looking at $2.5 million shortfall
School Board Superintendent Randy Schexnayder knows the School Board could be looking at a shortfall of $2.5 million for next year’s budget which is not good news for the state of the education system in the parish.
The reason for the shortfall is because the state could be cutting the parish’s money from the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP). State MFP funds are provided each year to the school systems through a formula involving the number of pupils that attend classes in that district.
Vermilion Parish has not seen a decrease in pupils over the last year. If anything, there has been an increase. So why the loss of a possible $2.5 million?
The reason for the cut is because the parish receives millions from oil and gas revenues because of 16 Section Land and the state is giving the parish less MFP funding because of it.
This past year the School Board received $8 million in oil and gas revenues generated on 16 Section land.
Vermilion is not the only parish looking at a shortfall in its budget.
The Acadia Parish School Board made a decision Monday night to cut 19 teaching positions because of the projected cut in MFP funding.
Acadia Parish may receive $800,000 less in MFP funding next year. Acadia Parish plans not to layoff any teachers. They will lose the jobs through attrition.
Schexnayder said there are no plans to cut any Vermilion teaching jobs because of the loss of $2.5 million.
Schexnayder and school board employees have been on a mission to educate many in order to to help pass a new 1/2 cent sales tax that would bring in $3.5 million and would also increase the MFP funding to the parish. The new tax would be used to boost salaries.
If the sales tax is approved on May 2, the School Board would collect an extra $1.8 million of MFP funding the following year. The state awards parishes more MFP funding if it taxes its residents more. Vermilion ranks almost last in taxing its residents for education.
Schexnayder will be giving a presentation at today’s Rotary weekly meeting about why the School Board is seeking a new sales tax.