Posted: Jun 20, 2011 10:30 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: Jun 20, 2011 10:30 PM
BATON ROUGE- Larger class sizes, school closures, canceled year-round schooling and no more teacher stipends are all the result of more than $30 million in cuts to the East Baton Rouge Parish School System budget for next school year.
The school board gave a unanimous thumbs-up to the spending plan Monday night.
But one cut, bus routes from the homes of Gifted and Talented students straight to school, worth $850,000 took center stage with parents.
Because of that, some board members tried to save the routes with cuts in other places, like music education and mental health counselors. Others asked to hold off the vote for a transportation committee's recommendation, but that pitted the members against each other.
"The public is speaking to us," said Board Member Connie Bernard, "They are speaking with their feet."
"All these people with all these great ideas.. Where were they? Where were they?" asked Board Member Randy Lamana, "Now, they talk about we're gonna pull out of the system. Well you know what, you apparently don't live the system that well."
Board Member Jill Dyason said, "We've got to come up with better things, we've got to come up with ways this can be doable for families if we really want to be the school system of choice."
"We don't have any business sitting here looking for cuts to education, mental health, man that just makes me sick for somebody to think about cutting services to children that needs it that bad," said Board Member Vereta Lee.
The superintendent says he knows the cuts sting, but he'll continue trying to lessen the pain.
"We're just going to have to address those things with a common sense approach," said Superintendent John Dilworth, "We will work with parents to do what's necessary to make their children's school life as most productive as possible."
The superintendent says the board can alter this budget if any savings-suggestions are made from research committees, or if more money is found elsewhere, at any time.