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EBR School Board unanimously approves budget to cut hundreds of jobs

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BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board approved a general operating budget for the next fiscal year that will cut hundreds of jobs.

The approval to drastically cut spending came Thursday night. The $454.8 million budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year cuts 3.3 percent in spending.

Along with eliminating almost 300 positions, the new budget also calls for less spending on textbooks and transportation. On August 9, a new school year will start with less personnel, including four fewer librarians, 65 fewer teachers, four fewer principals and 17 fewer assistant principals.

The eliminated positions were either vacant or held by interim employees, according to school officials.

School board spokesperson Taylor Halsey tells WBRZ there won't be any impact on classroom sizes. She also says in some cases, staff will be moved to a "new position without someone to fill the old position."

Halsey says Superintendent Warren Drake is on board with the budget, and even though they don't like making cuts, EBR has faced a huge deficit in the past and now they're finally back to a balanced budget.

The new plan happened about a month late, as the fiscal year started July 1.

Thursday's vote was unanimous. One board member was absent.

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