CPSB proposal includes alternative to teacher cuts

Alternative to save teacher jobs

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish School Board is considering some alternatives that could shield the system from teacher cuts.

Board member Joe Andrepont on Thursday evening proposed using the revenue from the board's Mossville property sale to fill the budget gap. That's about $9 million compared to the more than $8 million for the proposed teacher cut.

Members favored the proposal in a 9-5 vote.

Andrepont said the plan would ultimately allow other options to be mulled.

The proposed cut would have eliminated nearly 158 teacher positions.

"I do believe, as a former classroom teacher and as a principal, that class size does have an effect -- either positively or negatively -- on student performance and on teacher evaluation," said Pam LeDoux, Vincent Settlement Elementary principal.

LeDoux wasn't the only one at Thursday night's budget committee meeting who thought this way.

Principal at M.J. Kaufman Elementary, Lynn Hamilton, attended the meeting hoping the committee would look at other avenues to make the cuts and not in the classroom.

"My school is 85 percent free and reduced, and some of my classes have been smaller which I feel like has helped me help my teachers to keep my school at a 'B' school this year with the new evaluation, new compass," Hamilton said.

The school system has a projected budget for the 2013-2014 that's nearly $13 million in the hole.

Some members said they have concerns for future budget years, citing that if the deficit continues growing, employee cuts are inevitable.

Chief Finance Officer Karl Bruchhaus said the budget, as of right now, is balanced.

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