School funding earmarked for students up slightly in St. Mary Parish

CENTERVILLE, La. — The St. Mary Parish school system has $8,978 from state and district funds to educate each of its 9,115 students this year.

Sixty-five percent of the $8,978 is from the state Minimum Foundation Program funds. The other 35 percent is district tax dollars, said Barry Landry, Louisiana Department of Education press secretary.

MFP, which totals $5,835 per child, is in the form of a block grant from the state to the parish. Districts can determine how they spend the state money, but must satisfy all mandated program requirements, the state Department of Education website states.

The official student membership count occurred Oct. 1. St. Mary Parish public schools reported 9,115 students, excluding pre-kindergarten. This figure is six students above the same time during the 2011-12 school year, Superintendent Donald Aguillard said.

Included in the current year count are 26 virtual learning students.

Landry said projected MFP funds per student by district for St. Mary are $8,978 for the current year, which totals $81.8 million. The state’s portion of that is $53.2 million.

Projected MFP funds per pupil by district for St. Mary are up slightly more than the 2011-12 school year, Landry said, when the Feb. 1 totals per child were $8,970.

When pre-kindergarten enrollment, which is federally funded, is added into population counts, there are 9,561 students.

Student enrollment is down by 41 from the prior school year.

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