St. John School Board talks funding concerns with legislators

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2015

By Gladys Davis Mulkey

LAPLACE — St. John The Baptist Parish School Board members met with state legislators recently to discuss the MFP and request an additional 2.75 percent increase in funding in this years annual budget.

The “MFP” Minimum Foundation Program is a term used by to education officials in reference to the amount of funding the state pays per student to each school district.

This formula was established to determine the cost of a minimum program of education in all public elementary and secondary schools.

The Louisiana House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2010 requesting the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education make the school funding formula more efficient and effective.

Educational funding is based on a community’s property wealth. Public schools receive funding from federal, state and local sources, plus local property taxes.

Currently, Louisiana funds St. John the Baptist Parish $3,800 per student.

St. John School Board member Russ Wise said $3,800 is not enough to cover average student and teacher expenses; such as retirement, public bus transportation, books, career education, dual enrollment, special education and technology upgrades.

Last year, the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board received an increase of 2.75 percent above the proposed budget, and school board members hopes this year the district will receive the funding jump again.

State Rep. Gregory A. Miller, R-Norco, said the there is a very complex formula that determines how much money the state allocates to each school board and he is unsure if the state could grant St. John’s request.

School Board members in attendance were Gerald Keller, Keith Jones, Clarence Triche, Ali Burl, Sherry DeFrancesch, Russ Wise and Russell Jack.

Legislators in attendance were Miller and State Sen. Troy Brown, D- Napoleonville.

The meeting was held at Frenier Landing in LaPlace.