The state’s budget crisis has some re-thinking their own budget plans and that includes the Lafayette Parish School Board.
The board has called a special meeting for Tuesday, February 23.
LPSS Superintendent Dr. Donald Aguillard says the state has a deadline for when municipalities or entities such as the school district have to decide what they want to do with a tax proposition.
He says delay, modify or have it removed from the April 9 ballot.
On Monday, Dr. Aguillard attended a meeting at The Daily Advertiser to discuss the proposed tax proposition.
Before the meeting, Aguillard told KLFY’s Renee Allen he realizes the board’s decision is having to be made while the state budget is being mapped out.
“I think what we’re seeing is that the economy is really on everybody’s mind right now including the board members. This is an opportunity for board members to say yes or no,” Aguillard said.
“We know there’s a bit of economic uncertainty. There is still the unknown about what will happen at the state level. I think the board is using their ability to stop and make a final decision before the ballots are printed at the state level,” he explained.
The question is will the state’s budget shortfall supersede the parish’s need to improve schools.
The superintendent believes the choice is not about one or the other – but rather the resiliency of Lafayette as a whole.
“There is a considerable amount of uncertainty. What we’re not hearing at this point is large scale opposition to the idea that we should not be providing funds for facilities and program needs,” Aguillard added.
LPSB Member Jeremy Hidalgo explains that the state’s financial status is a circumstance that must be considered.
However, the state budget doesn’t negate that the school district still has needs.
“Let’s not ignore the deplorable facilities across the parish. We have a lot of needs. We just have to prioritize what’s important and we have to tackle them. Unfortunately, we can’t do that without additional funds. So, the need is there and it didn’t change. It’s not going to change,” Hidalgo said.
The LPSB special meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m. It will be held at the LPSS Building.