St. Mary Parish School Board approves new hires
CENTERVILLE, La. — School board members voted against authorizing Superintendent Donald Aguillard to hire any administrative positions Thursday.
But they approved six of the seven hires requested by the superintendent, one with the caveat that the hire had to be non-administrative.
Aguillard said he needed additional instructional and support personnel to fill unanticipated staffing needs.
The personnel include four Limited English Proficiency paraprofessionals to serve nine schools, three of those to be paid with federal funds; one Junior ROTC instructor for Franklin High School; and one additional position as a reserve, according to Superintendent Donald Aguillard.
It was the one special education coordinator position for special services that the board voted against 6-4. Board members did not give reasons for their votes. They added the stipulation that the reserve position not be an administrative position before approving it unanimously.
The additions come after 26 teaching positions were cut through attrition, for budget reasons, to begin this school year. Those included four on the elementary level, eight in junior high, six in high school and 17 special education teachers. The employment cuts, 28 in all, were made during the budget process.
Once the school year started, five teaching positions were reinstated due to student population shifts. Teachers were added at Hattie Watts, Raintree and Foster elementary schools, Morgan City Junior High and B. Edward Boudreaux Middle School.
In the $103.3 million budget that received final approval Thursday night, the school system anticipates 41.88 percent of its revenue to come from local sources, 47.54 percent from the state and 10.57 percent from federal funds. Total revenues are expected to be $97.85 million for the coming fiscal year.
Among sources for that revenue are local property and sales taxes. While property taxes are different in various parts of the parish, the entire parish pays a total of 1.75 percent of its sales taxes to the school system.
Instructional expenditures in the budget come to $53.77 million, or 52.03 percent of total spending. Support programs, such as food services, bond retirement, instructional support and administration, make up the remaining 47.97 percent of expenses totaling $49.58 million.
The budget statement indicates the general fund will have a projected deficit of $3.29 million for the fiscal year.
The statement said, “This budget reflects a decrease in anticipated sales tax collections as well as a decrease in (Minimum Foundation Program) funds as a result of the loss of students and the application of the local wealth factor.”
The deficit will be made up from the fund balance. That balance is projected to be $16.33 million by June 2014, representing $1.62 million in reserved funds and $14.71 million in board designated funds.
Aguillard said Thursday that with the Oct. 1 date for determining state funding fast approaching, the school system showed enrollment of 9,038 this week. That is 49 fewer students than at the same time the previous year. When adding pre-kindergarten students into the mix, the total is 9,461, or 80 fewer children.
The school system gets funding from the state, through a complex formula, for each child enrolled.