STATEMENT FROM STATE SUPERINTENDENT JOHN WHITE REGARDING ZACHARY SCHOOL DISTRICT’S REVERSAL OF DECISION TO PARTICIPATE IN SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

May 10, 2012

"Through the student scholarship program, our state’s top-performing school district did a courageous thing by agreeing to accept students who right now do not have the quality choices Zachary community members enjoy.  The board’s reversal of that decision, as reported in today’s Advocate, was based on false information. Scholarship students accepted by public schools ranked A or B bring with them their full MFP funding, a state average of $8,500, not $4,000, as was reported. The scholarship program is thus not only the right thing to do for A and B schools, but also a prudent financial decision. I urge Zachary and districts statewide to do the right thing for children and join the program."



FACT SHEET: FUNDING FOR STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS FOR EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE PROGRAM



FACT: This program does not transfer local funds to other districts or private schools.



FACT: The effect of the funding of scholarships is that money follows the child. This is accomplished by more effectively managing the state portion of the MFP to reflect parents’ choices.



FACT: The Louisiana Constitution specifically calls for the state to "provide learning environments and experiences, at all stages of human development, that are humane, just, and designed to promote excellence in order that every individual may be afforded an equal opportunity to develop to his full potential." The MFP and the scholarship program are means to that end.



EXACTLY HOW ARE SCHOLARSHIPS FUNDED THROUGH THE MFP?



The state will fund the total value of scholarships through the MFP, but this payment will take into consideration the proportionate share that is contributed by state and local sources.



On average, the state pays 65% of the MFP and local school systems pay 35% of the MFP. The amount of state funds paid to local school systems through the MFP will be reduced for each student participating in the scholarship program. The amount will depend on that local school system’s proportionate share of the MFP.



Consider the following scenario

A local school system’s per-student MFP amount is $7,000 (65% state, 35% local). A student in that local school system receives a scholarship to attend an A or B public school.



The scholarship will be the TOTAL per-pupil MFP associated with that child, calculated based on where the child resides.



The value of the scholarship will be $7,000.



In this scenario, the scholarship would be paid using 65% state funds and additional state funds equivalent to the amount of local funds (35%).



Local funds are not transferred.



The total value of the scholarship, $7,000, would be paid to the non-public school by the state; $2,450 would be deducted from the state MFP payment to the local school system where the student resides ($7,000 x 35%).

Consider the following scenario.

A local school system’s per-student MFP amount is $7,000 (65% state, 35% local). A student in that local school system receives a scholarship to attend a non-public school with tuition and fees totaling $4,000.



The value of the scholarship would be $4,000.



In this scenario, the scholarship would be paid using 65% state funds and additional state funds equivalent to the amount of local funds (35%). Local funds are not transferred.



The total value of the scholarship, $4,000, would be paid to the non-public school by the state; $1,400 would be deducted from the state MFP payment to the local school system ($4,000 x 35%).



Total savings to the MFP would be $3,000 (difference between full MFP and value of scholarship).

  • There is a net savings to the state of $1,950. ($4,550 state MFP share minus $2,600, the proportionate share (65%) of the MFP).


  • There is a savings to the local school system of $1,050. These funds can be used to support other children. ($2,450 local MFP share minus $1,400, the proportionate share (35%) of the MFP)

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