Lafayette School Board Mulls Over Proposed Budget
Some positions and programs within the Lafayette Parish School System will be inevitably cut in order for the School Board to offer a balanced budget for the upcoming school year.
Facing an approximated $15 million budget deficit, the Lafayette Parish School System staff has worked months to prepare a balanced budget to present to the School Board for its approval. Tuesday night, the board and staff met at a special school board meeting to review the proposed budget where Chief Financial Officer Billy Guidry fielded the board's questions, and amendments to the budget.
The board was presented with a balanced budget and reviewed the barrage of cutbacks that the staff had proposed. Though nearly 40 positions would be eliminated within the proposed budget, board members selected to restore some positions at a cost to a one-time, $4 million operating budget balance.
The positions that the board wants to restore include three (of seven) social workers, a crisis intervention teacher, and five (of ten) licensed practical nurses, totaling a cost of $476,500 that the board suggests should be paid for through the operating budget balance, or the staff should recommend other areas to cut.
It was primarily funding for arts programs that avoided the chopping block, as well, revealing a $313,000 hole in the budget. The Primary Academic Creative Experiences (PACE) program and the Do-Re-Mi program, formed in conjunction with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, were spared. Incoming Superintendent Don Aguillard, who officially starts Monday said some of those funds may be recouped through Title I dollars.
According to a timeline, that the council also reviewed, the public will be allowed to review the proposed budget, which still has several steps left before being totally drafted, through a public inspection period that is scheduled for June 6-17. A public hearing is scheduled to be held June 17 at 4 p.m. to adopt the final budget.