MONROE, Louisiana — The Ouachita Parish School board hopes to maintain the financial status quo for the upcoming school year by continuing many of its budget cutting measures.
The News-Star reports (http://tnsne.ws/12t6s64 ) the board approved 2012-13 budget revisions and finance committee recommendations in its Thursday board meeting.
"Our plan is to maintain what we have," business director Juanita Duke said during a public hearing before the board meeting.
The district eliminated 143 positions in the 2012-13 school year by not filling vacancies resulting in a savings of about $4.6 million in staffing.
Changes during the past legislative session and by the courts also impacted the district's bottom line.
Duke said that because the 2012-13 funding was declared unconstitutional, funding to districts reverts back to the 2011-12 amounts which did not include money for voucher schools.
"In changing back, we gained $522,792 primarily because of restoring local funds transferred to legacy type charter schools and voucher schools," Duke said.
The board voted to fund $160,000 in "Top Gains" school rewards which had already been given but were eliminated when the funding changed.
Superintendent Bob Webber pointed out that "Top Gains" was a state initiative that became optional for districts when funding was shifted back to the 2011-12 MFP.
The money had been awarded to 19 of the district's schools earlier this year.
Duke said the distribution of a last-minute addition by legislators that would give teachers a one-time payment is still being determined.
Information from: The News-Star, http://www.thenewsstar.com