CLINTON — The East Feliciana Parish School Board adopted a general fund budget Tuesday that anticipates a small operating surplus for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The projected surplus of $191,000 is in sharp contrast to the projected $800,000 deficit the School Board envisioned when it began working on the budget several months ago.
The last budget draft had whittled the deficit to $87,000, but financial adviser Tommy LeJeune said he and the Finance Committee made additional revisions to erase the estimated deficit and get as close as possible to a $200,000 surplus.
Superintendent-elect Carlos Sam, who is working as a consultant until his contract officially begins July 1, said reductions in personnel were made through attrition, including cutting one teaching position at each school and two classroom aides.
Sam and LeJeune said the personnel reductions were made with the goal of keeping the number of students in each classroom as low as possible.
LeJeune said he also budgeted for additional students and the resulting increase in state money, but he said he discounted the enrollment projections the principals made to be on the safe side.
The board plans to vote July 7 on calling Oct. 24 elections to renew a pair of one-cent sales taxes for parish schools and renewing a 17-mill property tax.
Although parish voters traditionally renew existing taxes, board member Paul Kent said board members must communicate how vital the tax revenue is to the system.
“I cannot imagine what it would look like if the taxes were not renewed,” LeJeune said in answering a question from Kent.
In other action, the board
Approved performance incentives for Sam’s contract in the areas of student achievement, ACT achievement, graduation rates, teacher effectiveness and student enrollment. Sam could earn an additional $2,000 for meeting each of the goals in the five areas.
Welcomed Laron McCurry as the new principal of East Feliciana Middle School in Clinton, and Sam announced that Curt R. Green will return as principal of the parish high school.
Voted to obtain an appraisal on the old Clinton High School building near the School Board office. Board member Mitch Harrell said a local company, Pac-Tec, is interested in buying the school and renovating it for its corporate offices.