Next school year, the Lafayette Parish School Board faces a projected $18 million budget shortfall. The school district’s Chief Financial Officer, Billy Guidry laid-out two options to solve the problem. Both of which include cutting the salary step increases for teachers.
“If they want to fund the salary steps, then they have to offer an alternative offset,” says Guidry. Guidry made it clear the seriousness of the anticipated budget shortfall for next school year. He says since 2010 the board has been making cuts mostly at the administrative level. The cuts are getting deeper and could call for some school district level adjustments.
“In excess of $18 million. That’s the largest we’ve seen since 2010,” adds Guidry.One budget proposal presented to offset the shortfall involved using $10.8 million from the Fund Balance along with about $6.5 million in 2002 sales tax dollars. Guidry says the tax dollars will help pay for appeals for teacher slots while class sizes are being lowered. “There are some additional items for lowering class size. Additional line items that are being proposed be funded out of that tax,” says Guidry.The other option by-passes the Fund Balance and uses cuts to plug the budget whole.
Only about $1.5 million of 2002 sales tax dollars will be used and only for the Adult Alternative Education Program. “School Resource Officers and School Safety Officers, those are all slots all positions we could save about $1.1 million,” adds Guidry.At the next meeting on May 27, it’s anticipated the board would have gone over the proposals and suggest a few. Plus, be ready to present what they would like to do based on what will work.