St. Landry Parish school finances in good shape, finance director: need to remain vigilant

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OPELOUSAS, Louisiana — Although the St. Landry Parish school system's finances are "in good shape" at present, Finance Director Tressa Miller says officials need to remain vigilant and not overspend.

Four years ago, the school board was facing a $4 million deficit and had to cut workers, mainly from the maintenance department, and cut back on expenses at the central office and school sites.

Miller tells The Advocate ( ) matters have improved since then, but revenues from state, federal and parish-wide sources fluctuate each year, making planning somewhat difficult.

For instance, a financial report that the School Board approved Thursday shows the inconsistencies from year to year from state Minimum Foundation Program funding. MFP revenues are primarily based on student enrollment.

Miller said St. Landry received $78.034 million in MFP money in 2011-13. Last year, the district received $77.6 million.

As for expenses, 88 percent, or $108.6 million, of the district's $124.46 million in 2013-14 expenses involved employee salaries and benefits.

Nevertheless, salary expenses have declined over the last three fiscal years.

Information from: The Advocate,

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