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Jun 5, 2014 11:17 PM by Tina Macias

LPSB cuts budget meeting short, still facing $20M shortfall

The Lafayette Parish School Board abruptly ended its budget meeting tonight after getting through less than half of its agenda.

The early adjournment came from board frustration over how to close its $20 million shortfall. The board voted against usage of reserves -- its rainy day fund and a fund earmarked for teacher bonuses -- to cover the hole, but with each item that followed, were asked to use those funds or cut positions.

The board simply chose not to dip into reserves, leaving positions intact but unfunded and the board no closer to closing their shortfall.

Dipping into the 2002 sales tax would have cut teacher's annual "14th check" from $2,100 to $650, but would have funded 150 extra teachers, assistant principals and counselors.

The board only made it through nine of its 24 agenda items, but did decide to fund employees' annual raises or "step increases," which was on the chopping block.

Hunter Beasley, Mark Cockerham, Kermit Bouillion and Shelton Cobb voted against the early adjournment. Rae Trahan, Tehmi Chassion, Tommy Angelle, Mark Babineaux and Greg Awbrey voted for the adjournment,

The next budget meeting is set for June 11. The new fiscal year begins July 1.



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