LAFAYETTE — The job of interim school superintendent could come with a $50,000 pay boost for Burnell LeJeune, the longtime school system employee appointed as the Lafayette schools chief last week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board will discuss the salary for LeJeune as interim superintendent during its 5:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday. LeJeuene would make $150,000 under the proposal, plus a $700 monthly vehicle allowance and a cellphone allowance of $160 per month. The allowances mirror what was in former superintendent Pat Cooper’s contract.
The board voted 7-2 to fire Cooper on Nov. 6 after numerous conflicts with him over various management and budgetary decisions he had made in the past two school years.
If approved, LeJeune’s new interim superintendent salary would be effective starting Nov. 10, the day the board appointed him to the post.
LeJeune, a 38-year veteran of the school system, held dual director roles with oversight of the school system’s career and technical education and the Schools of Choice program. His salary for this school year was $97,320, said Billy Guidry, the school system’s chief financial officer.
Cooper’s four-year contract set his salary at $190,000 and included covering the entire health care insurance premium cost for him and one dependent, which at the start of the contract in January 2012 was estimated at $10,000 annually. School system employees are eligible for annual step increases based on their years of service and the 2013-14 budget showed Cooper’s salary at $193,804.
LeJeune and Guidry will review the school district’s current budget situation during a workshop scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. In the workshop, LeJeune has said he’ll ask the board to consider revisions to the budget it adopted on Sept. 15.
Though the board adopted a spending plan for 2014-15, then-superintendent Pat Cooper refused to implement it because he claimed the board didn’t follow state laws in its preparation and adoption process. Cooper also said that the cuts made by the board in the budget would negatively impact schools.
The school district has continued to operate using 50 percent of last year’s budget — even after Cooper’s termination. Last week, LeJeune said the district will soon implement the board’s adopted budget and he planned the workshop to inform board members of the effect of their cuts inside the schools.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.