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East Baton Rouge School Board selects budget for the 2023-2024 school year

1 year 17 hours 46 minutes ago Thursday, July 13 2023 Jul 13, 2023 July 13, 2023 10:15 PM July 13, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - After weeks of indecision, the East Baton Rouge School Board chose to move forward with an option that provides a $4,000 stipend to those on the teacher salary schedule and a $2,000 stipend to support staff. It also includes the option for the board to increase teacher salary over three years. 

"When you look at the emails we received, the calls and the text messages we received saying yes they want to make sure they get a pay increase as well as a stipend," School Board President Dadrius Lanus said. "I just think it made sense and you heard a lot of those sentiments from our board tonight. I think our teachers are walking away with something very strong."

Many people, including council members, were opposed to this option due to the inability to be sustainable moving forward.

"The promises for increased salaries or stipends or whatever you would like to call it passed next year are empty promises, we don't have a plan for sustainability, we don't," board member Katie Kennison said.

"It's just a bunch of broken promises and we're going down with the ship," East Baton Rouge Association of Educators President Valencea Johnson said.

Even though the budget passed, the public criticized the board's inability to get this done months ago instead of scrambling at the last minute and causing confusion for everyone involved.

"If we would've started early as we usually start then we wouldn't be at the ninth hour trying to make decisions and making ill-advised decisions at the ninth hour," Johnson said.

It's something that the board and Lanus say they took note of and will work on during the coming months to make sure next year's budget process is more efficient than this year's.

"I would agree with a lot of my colleagues along with the public tonight; this budget process shouldn't have taken this long," Lanus said. "As we look at the next fiscal year, we're going to focus on those same things, but the process will not take this long."

The board has until July 17th to make any changes to the proposed budget before it is posted for public review.

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