- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

BASTROP, La. (AP) - Morehouse Parish School Board members have tabled their decision on reducing the district’s budget after Superintendent George Noflin presented them with another option - a combination of two previous plans.

To balance the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, The News-Star reports (https://tnsne.ws/1fiLGrA) the district must cut at least $3.4 million.

The plan presented Tuesday night was a combination of a plan that Noflin had presented on March 11 and an alternative one the community presented on March 18.

Noflin’s combination plan included a four-day school week suggested by the community plan and staff reductions included in his plan, but it did not include closing two elementary schools that was a part of his first plan.

Board member Louis Melton argued against some of the employee cuts in central office, suggested in Noflin’s original plan and carried over into the plan presented Tuesday night.

“We can’t keep overworking and overkilling people so that they’ve got so many positions they can’t do nothing right,” he said.

Noflin defended his position.

“It’s only appropriate for the cuts to begin at central office and then go through the district,” he said.

The new plan would not close elementary schools but would create partnerships between existing elementary schools and reassign students now being served by Bastrop Learning Academy.

Board member Jeff Churchwell suggested tabling the board’s decision until members could get more details and specific answers on the new proposal.

“I’m not trying to keep anyone at bay,” he said. “I’m trying to make the best decision I can for the district, the kids and the employees.”

The board will decide on a budget reduction plan on April 1.

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Information from: The News-Star, https://www.thenewsstar.com

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