$800,000 In Racino Funds Restored To St. Landry Schools
St. Landry Parish schools are getting a much-needed influx of cash now that $800,000 in Racino funds are being restored into the school system's budget.
Representative Ledricka Thierry and State Treasurer John Kennedy announced the restoration of the funds Wednesday in a release to the media.
"I'm happy to announce that the Jindal Administration has agreed to support the appropriation of $800,000 from the St. Landry Excellence Fund to the St. Landry Parish School System," Thierry said.
This comes at a time when St. Landry Parish's schools have been mired in a "grave financial situation," according to Daryl Purpera, the state legislative auditor. The school system has approved short- and long-term proposals to avoid a budget deficit.
And amidst the budget chaos, interim superintendent Donnie Perron stepped down. Joseph Cassimere was appointed to the spot a few days later.
"We are going to give the new board and new superintendent the time to execute a plan that works," Kennedy said.
"The cuts to the system would be too dire in the short term and would impede progress in moving forward with a new fiscal plan," Thierry said.
The St. Landry Parish Excellence fund was established to help fund education in St. Landry Parish by dedicating 5 percent of taxes from the Evangeline Downs racetrack and proceeds from casino slot machines. A proposal being debated in Baton Rouge had threatened to move those funds to the state Medical Assistance Trust Fund.