St. Martin

Jun 5, 2013 11:15 PM by Steven Albritton

3 Stephensville Elementary Teachers Could Lose Their Jobs Due To Budget Shortfall

Parents in St. Martin parish are questioning why teachers might be cut from one of their most successful schools. Stephensville Elementary is one of just 18 schools in the state to have every 4th and 7th grader pass the state mandated LEAP exam. Now, three teachers could be losing their jobs due to budget issues.

A packed St. Martin Parish School Board meeting had more than 20 teachers and parents from the school come to show their frustration with the current plan to cut teachers. Unfortunately, Monday night they didn't get that chance. The board decided unanimously to delay discussions for another meeting.

"We came here to voice our opinions and we were shut down. So, I think it's just a travesty that they think combining classes to make their bottom line even out is upsetting. It's my children's future they are talking about," Jennifer Reynolds said.

It all comes down to money. Right now, the school board is faced with a $500,000 budget shortfall. New superintendent, Dr. Lottie Beebe sympathizes with the parents and teachers. But she says with such a big shortfall, Beebe fears cuts may be inevitable.

"We sometimes have to make decisions that are not pleasing to the community, but again my proposal is an attempt to save the school to continue to operate it," Dr. Beebe said.

The current proposal will cut three teachers, a custodian and move a food service employee from full-time to part-time status. The board will wait until the find out how much they receive from the MFP fund from the state before they make a final decision. The teachers that could be cut would be offered other positions within the parish school system.

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