The Lafayette Parish School Board has decided to go ahead with using funds from their rainy day account to be able to balance the 2012-2013 budget.  The school board members gathered for a special meeting yesterday and gave their approval to use the money. Now there is a balanced budget.

Most of the last night's discussion from school board members had to do with the proposed general fund, which totals more than $248 million, which will have a deficit of nearly 5 million dollars for the upcoming year.  They are now using rainy day money to make things balance out.

Funding changes needed to be made for new programs that have been designed by Superintendent Pat Cooper's turnaround plan to improve the school district's overall academic performance.

Last week, members were not able to decide on this path to balance the budget, but finally agreed yesterday.  Last week, some of the school board members said they could not agree with using funds that are dedicated for teacher raises and $4.2 million in rainy day funds to balance the budget.

One of those was District 6 member Gregory Awbrey, who represents constituents roughly from Ambassador Caffery to University and north of Johnston Street and south of Cameron Street. He says “the budget isn’t really balanced” if you use the money from the reserves.

Tehmi Chaisson, who represents District 4, which includes schools such as J.W. Faulk Elementary, Northside High School and the Career Center, did not like that the budget would have used $1.5 million from a 2002 sales tax that would fund teacher pay raises to supplement the general fund.

Regardless of last week's decision the Lafayette Parish School Board has adopted its budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Changes made to last week's budget proposal include increasing state Minimum Foundation Plan revenues by about $3 million and lowering transportation costs.