St. Landry

Mar 24, 2012 2:11 PM by Sharlee Barriere

St. Landry Schools Consider 2 Budget Plans

The St. Landry Parish School Board has approved two cost-reduction proposals and will submit them to a state legislative auditor's review committee.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/GUEi5m) that a short-term plan would save the district $3.3 million by July 1, and averting a budget deficit.
The second proposal, more long-term in its view, would save the system $10 million to balance the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1.
The School Board has been struggling with an ongoing financial problem dating back to June, when the board's Executive Committee voted to declare a financial exigency plan, signaling the district would not be able to meet all of its financial obligations for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Acting Superintendent Joseph Cassimere presented the board with the cost-saving proposals earlier this week and asked they be approved in time for the meeting Monday of the fiscal review committee.
"We cannot continue to spend more each month than what we take in. Our backs are to the wall. We have to have a plan in place to be ready for Monday," Cassimere said.
Earlier this month, state Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera told the board the fiscal review committee was awaiting the district's plan to address its financial difficulties.
Purpera said then that the committee could appoint a fiscal administrator to run the system if the school system failed to act.
The School Board has been struggling with an ongoing financial problem dating back to June, when the board's Executive Committee voted to declare a financial exigency plan, signaling the district would not be able to meet all of its financial obligations for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
The short-term savings plan calls for eliminating the district's $42.88 share it pays for monthly employee health-care premiums for three months, saving an estimated $186,000.
The plan also would shorten the school year by three days, saving an estimated $15,000 in fuel costs, while reducing the use of substitute teachers. It also calls for implementing a parishwide staff-cut plan, saving $3 million.
The long-term plan continues elimination of the monthly employee insurance supplements indefinitely for an estimated $745,000 in savings, cancels 10 bus routes for a savings of $311,312, revises the pay scale for classroom substitute teachers and envisions other cutbacks and the sale of unoccupied elementary school facilities at Morrow and Melville.
The district also is considering going to a four-day school week.

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