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Jul 7, 2011 9:38 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP

85 school positions cut by attrition in Terrebonne

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Eighty-five jobs are being cut through attrition in the new budget approved by the Terrebonne Parish School Board.
The $205 million spending plan is about $14 million less than last year. According to The Courier of Houma, Terrebonne officials blame sluggish sales-tax returns, cuts in state-provided money and rising retirement and health care costs.
The board will cover the loss mostly by eliminating positions and drawing from an $18.8 million surplus, which will shrink to $17.3 million by the fiscal year's end.
This is the second year in a row the surplus fund has been tapped; last year it shrank from $22.6 million.
Board members praised Superintendent Philip Martin and the system's fiscal staff for putting together a budget they said causes little pain despite continued shortages of state money.
"I want to thank the fiscal staff for putting this together," said member Donald Duplantis. "We're being recognized statewide for presenting these balanced budgets every year on time."
"Right now I'm thankful that the board approved this so strongly," Martin said. "I should be celebrating right now, but I'm already starting to worry about next year's budget. It's possible things could get even worse," he said.

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