- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette Parish School Board has given the green light for its $430 million budget to head to the public for review of the proposed 2015-16 spending plan.

The bulk of the board’s budget is its $267 million general fund, which includes its instructional expenses and employee salaries. The board pushed the general fund through to public review in a 6-2 vote Monday, with board members Dawn Morris and Tehmi Chassion voting against.

Prior to the vote, Chassion told the board he’d like to propose additional cuts, though he didn’t make his recommendations during Monday’s meeting.

“I don’t think it’s truly finished. I will be speaking with all of you about possible cuts,” Chassion said.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1Q2CQpc) the public has a chance to review a printed copy of the budget at the School Board office from June 6 until June 17 when a public hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m. followed by a special meeting for final adoption at 4:30 p.m.

The board pushed through the general fund with $918,349 in recent expenses added during last week’s budget meeting. Those expenses include additional English as a Second Language teachers and the restoration of board member association dues. The board’s rainy day fund would cover the additional expenses, said Billy Guidry, chief financial officer.

Board members had previously removed the membership dues, which are estimated at $19,800, from the budget as a show of solidarity with employees affected by some of the budget cuts. As a way to fill a $16 million shortfall, class sizes at many schools were increased by one student and staff changes were made that will likely displace some employees, sending them to vacant positions at different campuses.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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