LIVINGSTON - The Livingston Parish school system’s central office is staffed at levels similar to those in comparable districts, Assistant Superintendent Thomas Cothern told a School Board committee Thursday.

“We sent questionnaires to 11 districts,” Cothern told the board. “We got four responses.”

The report was further complicated, however, by differences in emphases, job descriptions and student populations, Cothern said.

Cothern refused to name the four parishes that responded to the request for information, saying he had promised them anonymity in return for their responses.

Cothern said he had asked the other districts to place their employees into categories that he provided for ease in making the comparison.

One of the responding districts had about 12,000 students more than Livingston’s 24,600, he said. Two others had about 4,000 fewer students, and the fourth had a student population roughly equal to Livingston’s.

The Livingston school system employs 157 people in its central office, which places it third among districts surveyed, according to the report.

Cothern said that some perceived that Livingston’s central office is overstaffed, and he believes the report shows that the system is in line with central office staffing in similar districts.

Committee Chairman Buddy Mincey thanked Cothern for compiling the report, which was accepted without objection by the committee and later by the full board, with board member Jimmy Watson absent.

Other matters coming before the board Thursday night included:

WORKER’S COMPENSATION: Insurance consultant John Norris told board members that their worker’s compensation insurance claims are increasing and that the board needs to re-emphasize safety.

“This board has never spent money or hired anyone from outside on safety,” Norris said. “Your claims are too expensive.”

Norris encouraged the board to examine safety policies.

“We have to do something to get the claims in line,” Norris said. “Safety can reduce these claims.”

The board will vote on accepting worker’s compensation insurance quotes at the next regular meeting on June 16.