Surplus dollars within the Lafayette Parish School System could level out the district’s pending budget for 2014-15.

Along with extra sales and property tax collections, Chief Financial Officer Billy Guidry says some of the $6.5 million surplus comes from adjusted salaries and benefits. In this case, Guidry says, less experienced teachers are filling spots vacated by retirees, who were paid higher salaries.

"At the end of the day, that falls to the bottom line," Guidry explained.

Guidry says using the funds would still leave the required 3-months-worth of reserve funds in the district’s rainy-day account.

The proposed budget up for public inspection is balanced out by accounting for $6.3 million in projected tax collection increases. The Advocate reports Superintendent Pat Cooper wants to use the newly realized surplus funds to balance the budget instead of the potential tax dollars.

The Parish School Board is set to finalize its budget proceedings at a special meeting Thursday at 4:30 p.m. A public hearing on the budget will begin prior to that at 4 p.m.

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