- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

MANSFIELD, La. (AP) - DeSoto Parish School District administrators are looking at cutting staff positions as one way to make up a deficit.

Officials say the system needs to make budget cuts of $6 million to $7 million.

Superintendent Cade Brumley says the system will move into the next school year with 37 percent less revenue than they’ve had in the past.

To account for the deficit, Brumley tells The Times (https://bit.ly/1NRYJAc) the school district is looking at reducing staff positions - but will not close schools, increase class sizes or propose a tax increase.

DeSoto Parish serves more than 5,000 students at the district’s 10 campuses in northwest Louisiana, just south of Caddo and Bossier parishes.

Brumley said a spending reduction plan will be presented to the district’s finance committee this month and will then go to the full school board in March. He wouldn’t go into specifics of the plan, saying the details are still in the process of being worked out, but said the proposed plan will prioritize keeping students safe and continuing to promote student growth and academic excellence.

He added that spending cuts in the past have not hurt the quality of education DeSoto students receive and that students have continued to excel academically.

“I don’t know that the expenditure reductions have been felt by a single student,” Brumley said. “We are a premiere school in Louisiana.”

Caddo School spokeswoman Mary Nash-Wood said the Caddo School District faced a similar situation several years ago and had to cut more than 300 positions.

“A $5 million to $7 million budget cut is a situation you don’t want to see in any school district,” Nash-Wood said. “It’s going to have repercussions for the community, and ultimately for the children.”


Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com

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