Vermilion Parish School Board needs to cut $3.2 million

The Vermilion Parish School Board is looking at a $3.2 million deficit as the school year approaches. The school board finance committee got an early look at the Superintendent’s propose recommendation to cut at least $822,500 from the budget and possibly another $1.2 million.
Superintendent Jerome Puyau informed the department heads to find ways to trim the budget without having to layoff personnel, which make up 87 percent of the school board’s budget.
At a special finance meeting, Phil Sellers, the finance officer for the school board, gave a slide presentation on ways to trim the budget. No action was taken on the superintendent’s recommendations. The board members just listened and asked questions.
Sellers went down the list of things that Puyau is strongly recommending cutting.
Here is a list of the line items and how much they would save the school board.
• Cutting out four on-line courses: Savings: $100,000.
• Cutting resource officers at Gueydan, Erath High/Erath Middle and Kaplan High: Savings: $67,000.
• Cut renting the Aqua Dam for Erath and Erath Middle School: Savings: $60,000.
• Reduce the budget for classroom furniture from $32,000 to $10,000. Savings: $22,000.
• Lower fuel usage: Savings: $30,000
• Reduce dual enrollment on-line courses budget: Savings: $25,000.
• Stop LEAP tutoring: Save $20,000.
• Stop after school tutoring: Save $15,000
• Other cost cutting measures: Vocational Purchased Services ($10,000 savings); Staff Programs ($5,000 savings), Personnel Supplies ($2,000 savings), advertising ($3,000 savings), 16th Section land Mineral Consultant ($5,000 savings) and 16th Section Land Maintenance and Improvements ($5,000 savings).
Sellers also explained that these cuts would only trim $822,500 from the $3.2 million deficit.
He showed “other considerations” that the board could take to cut another $1.2 million from the budget.
• Revamping the pre-school program and charging anywhere from $300 to $400 a month for students.
• Either stop dual enrollment classes or make parents pay the school board per dual enrollment class taken. That could save the school board around $250,000 a year.
• Do away with all resource officers at every school, which would save $151,000 a year.
• Stop contributing $60,000 for an athletic trainer.
• Stop contributing $45,000 a year to the LSU Extension Office for the 4-H program.
• Cut $35,000 the school board budgeted for economic development.
• The school board gives teachers $100 a year for school supplies. They are talking about axing that at a savings of $70,000.
• Also being considered for cuts are: Supply Allotments ($220,000 savings), band equipment ($50,000 savings), band uniforms ($10,000 savings), vocational ($60,000 savings) and library books, supplies and periodicals ($90,000).
• Stopping the District cooperative of La.: Saving $50,000
• Stop coaches from turning on the lights in stadiums for night practices. Savings: Unknown.
• The final suggestion is possibly not hiring at least 10 teachers for this school year. The savings would be $750,000 a year.
The superintendent will give the school board its proposed budget for the next school year this month. The proposed budget is expected to be balanced by having $3.2 million worth of cuts.
The school board will look over his proposed budget and then return it with recommendations.

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