WBRZ News

EBR breaks down budget, layoffs possible

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Posted: Jun 14, 2010 9:51 PM by Ashley Rodrigue, Heather Harel
Updated: Jun 14, 2010 10:21 PM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 5.0 (1 vote)

Topics: East Baton Rouge, schools, cuts, budget, jobs, teachers, bus drivers, programs

Sudden state funding cuts, a required rise in retirement expenses and declining sales taxes are causing the East Baton Rouge School District to face a $30 million operating gap.

The district proposed Monday night to close that gap by shedding construction, maintenance and training costs, while keeping health insurance and bus purchases covered with district savings.

Dropping programs such as 'Career Compass' that keep kids focused on staying in school, as well as a call to cut more than 150 teaching positions and almost 50 bus drivers, did not sit well with some on the board.

"One of the things that it depends upon is all of the positions that we either have a retirement or an unfilled position meshing with those positions that we're doing away with," Board member Noel Hammatt said.

Vice President Jay Augustine said the Board is committed to helping save jobs.

"These are tough times across the board, so we want the public to know we are doing all we can to be wise stewards of the taxpayer dollar," Augustine said.

The school board will vote on adopting the proposal next Monday. If approved, the budget will go into effect July 1.

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