Calcasieu Parish School Board discusses budget for 2009-2010

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Tonight the Calcasieu Parish School Board met for a budget meeting.

This year the Calcasieu School Board's budget is at $272,238,811.

That is an increase of $727,341 from last year's budget.

Officials say the major changes are Education Options Review Software with an increase of $64,000.

The changes also include scan-tron printing supplies with an increase at $32,500, and encumbrances with an increase of $405,581.

In addition to the budget, the board is also concerned with air conditioning units in schools.

"We've had a number of issues raised with a number of schools with parts breaking down with chillers, air conditioners not working properly," says Joe Andrepont, the Budget and Fiscal Management Chairman of the school board.

The school board plans to fix these problems with more technicians readily available.

"We also hope to stock up on parts," says Andrepont. "When a particular chiller breaks, we'd like to see inventory in place with a quicker turn around time to get the parts fixed."

In addition to fixing the air conditioning units in the schools, the board also voted to provide teachers with a $100 allocation for school supplies.

Carmen Hamilton, a biology teacher at Barbe High School says she is happy about it.

"In science we do a lot of hands on activities and without the proper supplies, we would not have a fun class or a great learning experience," says Hamilton.

Just across from Barbe High School, the board is making way for other negotiations.

The Calcasieu Parish School Board hopes to purchase the Weaver Road Park for potential Barbe High School expansion projects.

"Board members from that bonding district are looking at the new ninth grade school in Sulphur," says Hamilton. "It is a great concept, and we'd like to bring it here to Lake Charles after we've purchased the land."

Officials say they still have to negotiate with the City of Lake Charles before they can discuss the building of a new ninth grade building any further.

The board will meet with Johnson Controls, Inc. next Tuesday to follow up on air conditioning improvements.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)