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St. Landry School Board holds public hearings on proposed taxes

St. Landry Parish School Board
Posted at 12:25 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 17:44:37-04

The St. Landry Parish School Board held a public hearing Thursday on three proposed taxes.

The proposed property taxes would pay for employee pay raises; capital improvements to the system's athletic and recreational facilities; and building or improving school buildings.

Here are the details on the propositions:

SALARIES: Parish-Wide Bond Proposition in the amount of 9.9 mills for the payment of salaries for teachers and other employees by the St. Landry Parish School Board for Proposition 1 on the March 26, 2022 election, as follows: $3,000.00 for teachers; and $2,000.00 for support staff. The tax is predicted to raise about $6.5 million annually.

We checked with the state Department of Education, and as of 2019 - the most recent data available - St. Landry has the lowest average teacher pay in Acadiana.

A couple of notes: Teacher pay is determined by the number of degrees one has and how many years of experience one has. These figures do not include benefits, and they are for teachers who work 180 days per year. For clarity, if you work five days a week, 52 weeks a year, you work 260 days.

Here are the averages:
STATE: $49,311
ACADIA $44,548
CALCASIEU $51,717
EVANGELINE $43,414
IBERIA $48,082
JEFF DAVIS $49,444
LAFAYETTE $49,064
ST. LANDRY $43,273
ST. MARTIN $50,221
ST. MARY $47,440
VERMILION $45,769

ATHLETIC FACILITIES: Discussion of a Parish-Wide Bond Proposition in the amount of 1 mill for the operation, maintenance and capital improvements of athletic and recreational facilities by the St. Landry Parish School Board for Proposition 2 on the March 26, 2022 election. This tax is predicted to raise about $662,000 annually.

SCHOOL FACILITIES: Discussion of a Parish-Wide Bond Proposition not exceeding 100 million dollars of general obligation bonds for a term not exceeding 25 years for the purpose of acquiring and/or improving lands for building sites, playgrounds; purchasing, erecting and/or improving school buildings and other school related facilities within and for the district by the St. Landry Parish School Board for Proposition 3 on the March 26, 2022 election.

The school board unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a special election next March where voters will decide on the propositions.

Board members also say they're pleased to have created a balanced budget for the upcoming school year.

"For several years we have not had a balanced budget," said District 4 board member Raymond Cassimere. He said he was "elated that we were able to get to that status because we've come a long way in the past several years. We're looking forward to having a successful school year."

Here's a presentation prepared by staff for board members; it contains some information about their plans: