CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Coming into Tuesday's budget meeting, the Calcasieu Parish School Board was looking at a $10 million budget deficit for the 2014-2015 school year.
"You've already taken some steps for next year's budget, leaving us with a balance to reduce of $6,568,000," said Karl Bruchhaus, Chief Financial Officer for the CPSB.
Bruchhaus says by voting to consolidate Reynaud Middle School, along with other reductions, the board was able to take that $10 million deficit down to $6.5 million.
"We're now estimating that we're using $3 million out of general fund reserves to balance next year's budget," explained Bruchhaus.
Bruchhaus says that's in anticipation of a few things, including a 2.75 percent increase in MFP.
"Governor Jindal has put in his budget for next year MFP 2.75% growth factor. That will amount to $2,750,000," said Bruchhaus.
Even though board members approved the projected budget outlook for next year, which seems to be balanced, there's still a projected deficit for this year.
"The board adopted a budget revision tonight which is the second budget revision of the year. Typically, we do three. There is a current projected deficit for this current year of about $1.3 million," said Bruchhaus.
Bruchhaus says it's a small deficit projection for this time of year, but nonetheless, will have to be addressed.
He added that it's still a challenge to meet budget each year due to increasing benefit costs. In just the last five years, he says they've increased from $53 million to $70 million.