Superintendent talks up school scores, employees

Superintendent Randy Schexnayder in his presentation to the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club this past week stated that the Vermilion Parish School System’s District Performance Scores over the last 10 years have risen from 22nd to 11th in the state out of 69 school districts and are now first in the Acadiana region.

He also stated that this success is due in large part to the dedicated employees of the school system, innovative programs which have been implemented over the past 10 years and to the commitment of the students and parents of our school district.

The Superintendent demonstrated that the school system is being run with extreme efficiency from a financial standpoint. All available funding, including state, federal, local, oil and gas revenues and trust fund revenues are being utilized to the fullest but are either obligated or dedicated to maintain our current level of educational quality.

“Because we’re performing well, we’re not eligible to apply for many available grants so we’re losing federal and state funds. Schexnayder said. “These funds are being routed to those districts with lower performance scores! Sadly, the cost to continue implementing many of our innovative programs now exceeds all available funding sources we’re receiving. If additional revenues are not received, cuts will have to be made to many of these programs.

“We must pursue additional means of funding our school system.”

The Superintendent pointed out that Vermilion Parish’s contributions to education is much lower than other parishes in the region and considerably lower than other parishes in the state. The current 1 cent education sales tax in Vermilion Parish is actually second to last out of 69 school districts in Louisiana. 66 of the 69 school districts received at least 1.5 cents and 52 of the 69 school districts received 2 cents or more.

A critical factor in computing the MFP formula for receiving funds is the amount of money contributed locally to each district’s education system. This is the only way the MFP formula can be adjusted for Vermilion parish to receive more money from the state.

Schexnayder said if the parish is to continue providing the same quality of education to the children, the school system must compete with other systems, at the very least with systems in our own region.

Vermilion Parish currently ranks 67th of 69 school districts in funding per student. Projections for the upcoming school year indicate that we will rank last in funding of all the parishes.

Passage of the 1/2 cent sales tax will reduce financial stress on the General Fund because the state will redirect MFP funding of more than $1.8 million currently being sent to other districts back to Vermilion Parish.

The election is May 2.

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