Lafayette Parish School Board passes $275 million budget

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The Lafayette parish school board passed a $275 million budget for this next school year.

The board had to make some big decisions on what to cut out of the budget.

Some of the cuts could affect students, teachers, and staff as the next school year begins.

Tonight, the administration came back to the school board with a tighter budget.

The proposal cut certain jobs and funding to the transportation department.

The school board voted to keep certain personnel in the budget and certain bus routes out.

The board voted to cut $1.75 million from the transportation department, resulting in 23 fewer bus routes.

“There’s a lot of quote low hanging fruit in transportation. Rezoning helped address some of that. However we’re talking about additional things like we have many satellite stops for schools of choice,” said District 9 School board member Jeremy Hidalgo.

The department may now create more satellite stops district-wide, a central location where buses pick up students for school.

“About a year ago the school board purchased new bus routing software that will make routing more efficient,” said chief administrative officer Joe Craig.

Despite the cuts to bus routes, the board also voted to keep around 90 employees at the schools.

Positions like instructional strategists, custodians, and clerical assistants will be kept; 5 at-risk interventionists positions and 4 assistant principal positions will not.

“All of them are tough. It’s always hard to lose folks at the school level, even at the district level,” Hidalgo said.

Superintendent Donald Aguillard said that a tighter budget gives the board extra room to address facility needs at the schools, such as reducing the amount temporary classrooms.

“It would be on a very small scale. But it would show the public that we can downsize without diminishing services and we have a revenue stream that we can begin to use,” Aguillard explained.

For now, despite the cuts, the school board says they will move on, looking forward to the new school year.

School officials predict they’ll have finalized bus routes in place by July 14th.

Aguillard said that parents will be informed as soon as possible of the changes.

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