NEW ROADS, La. (AP) — The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board has unanimously decided to post a reduction in force notice to district employees in the event that layoffs may be necessary to balance the 2012-13 fiscal year budget.

But Superintendent Linda D'Amico said the board's action was simply a "just in case" decision and does not mean staff reductions actually would take place.

During the board's Finance Committee meeting Thursday, The Advocate reports ( ) Financial Officer Stephen Langlois presented a proposed budget for the upcoming school year that includes a 2 percent reduction in expenditures compared to the previous year.

The move was necessary to make up for state and federal funding cuts, he said.

Langlois' preliminary budget shows an eight-tenths of a percent decrease in projected revenues from local sources such as ad valorem taxes and sales tax returns compared to projected figures for the close of the 2011-12 budget year.

Langlois said those figures are based on the parish's new property value assessments which are expected to generate about $500,000 in increased revenue for the district in the 2012-13 budget cycle.

However, Langlois said the board is facing a 5 percent increase in employee insurance costs and additional increases in retirement benefits in the upcoming budget year.

Reducing staff was just one of several proposed cuts Langlois presented to the board in his expenditure reduction plan.

Others included freezing the salary schedules for employees, eliminating nonmandatory travel for professional development and continued elimination of overtime pay for nonexempt employees in all departments.

"Every time we start talking about cuts, we throw out some of the least-paid folks," said board member Chad Aguillard. "I'm not going to vote to balance the budget on the backs of those folks."

Anita LeJeune told other board members she would prefer across-the-board budget cuts over suggesting layoffs for any groups of workers such as janitors or bus drivers.

D'Amico and Langlois said they would present the board with a more detailed plan for the 2 percent reductions when the board revisits the issue during its regular meeting.

D'Amico said she hopes to have the 2012-13 budget ready for public view by the end of July.


Information from: The Advocate,