AMITE - Teacher layoffs may not be necessary for the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, Assistant Superintendent Thomas Bellavia told the board’s Curriculum Committee on Tuesday night.

Attrition has accounted for almost all of the cuts that may be needed, Bellavia said.

“If it is, it’s going to be mighty few,” Bellavia said. “It could be between five and 10.”

The system enacted a “seniority-based” reduction-in-force policy earlier this year.

Under that system, first-year teachers would be the first to be laid off, Bellavia said./

He added teacher certification status also would be a factor.

Other issues addressed by the board included:

ATTORNEY FEES: Board member Sandra Bailey Simmons quizzed Chief Financial Officer Bret Schnadelbach and attorney Ashley Sandage on costs associated with the system’s 46-year-old desegregation case.

Those costs have risen to more than $3 million, according to a document provided by administrators.

Schnadelbach said the accounting was up to date, but no fees had been paid to the plaintiffs’ attorneys since April 2010.

Simmons asked Sandage why the School Board had to pay both plaintiffs’ attorneys and their own in the case.

“That’s just the law in these kinds of cases,” Sandage replied. “The plaintiffs have to be allowed to pursue these kind of measures.”

Plaintiffs attorney Nelson Taylor has been paid $874,000, the document shows.

Board member Brett Duncan asked if there was a procedure for challenging costs submitted by the plaintiffs’ counsel.

Sandage said there was, and the board challenged some costs in 2010, before Duncan was on the board.