Louisiana will have to send more money to local school districts this year because enrollment exceeded expectation, resulting in a potential revenue shortfall of $42 million in fiscal 2011.

The Department of Education notified Gov. Bobby Jindal earlier this week that 9,000 more students than anticipated were in public schools on Oct 1. The state budget was based on 658,000 public school students, but actual enrollment totaled 667,500.

The fiscal 2011 budget allocated $3.3 billion to local districts through the Minimum Foundation Program formula based on the number of and type of students and a district’s assessed valuation.

Commissioner of administration Paul Rainwater, the governor’s chief budget analyst, said Louisiana often deals with budget adjustments to public education funding based on shifting enrollment numbers.

“With $3.3 billion budgeted to cover the entire fiscal year, there is no immediate problem facing the MFP,” Rainwater said. “Student counts will be recalculated again in February, and we expect the figures to change again.”

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