May 1, 2013 10:18 PM by Tina Macias

LPSS budget cuts could reach classrooms

The Lafayette Parish School System might have to implement larger class sizes, increase walks to bus stops or postpone the turnaround plan next school year to cover its multi-million dollar shortfall.

Those are just some of the proposals that will be considered to cover a $10 million to $12 million shortfall from the system's $400 million budget.

That deficit is due to a combination of decreased state and federal funding, fewer grants and an increase in retirement and group benefit costs, CFO Billy Guidry said.

An explanation of the school system's finances and budget cut considerations will be discussed with teachers during a series of school presentations held Thursday through May 8, Guidry said.

He showed the Lafayette Parish School Board part of the presentation, invouding budget cut options, during a board meeting today. The board began its budget process last month, which will continue through June when it will approve a budget. The new budget year begins July 1.

Although no cuts have been finalized yet, the proposals include increasing the student-teacher ratio, eliminating team teaching in middle schools, changing the elementary physical education program, reducing or eliminating teacher sabbaticals, implementing a 1-mile walk zone for bus riders and suspending year two of the turnaround plan.

"This is the third year we're doing this kind of stuff, so it's going to be even more difficult," Guidry said.


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