LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — The Lafayette Parish School Board reduced its budget deficit by less than $350,000, but with the start of school just four weeks away, it still faces a $7.38 million shortfall.

By the end of a four-hour meeting Thursday, The Advocate reports the board approved $346,212 in cuts — $332,000 of that was a single cut to stipends for national board certifications, but it affects only those employees who received certifications after July 1, 2013.

Before the board ended its meeting, Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau (BEE'-oh-doh) appealed to the board to move to the instructional staffing accounts as soon as possible.

The board next meets on Tuesday and will take up Billeaudeau's request to make decisions about staffing.

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