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Jul 13, 2010 7:18 PM by Kate Mundy

Cuts Looming For Vermilion Parish Schools

Gueydan families are fired up about the fate of the community's only high school. "This is the heart of our community," said parent Jodie Mayer.    It's among two schools potentially on the chopping block as school leaders search for an extra $1.6 million to cover a state mandated increase in what they need to put into retirement reserves.

The Vermilion Parish School Board will vote this week, and their decision could impact jobs, salaries or schools. Gueydan parents hope it's not their school.

"Our town is already small as it is and you take the school away people are gonna start leaving, that's gonna be less money spent in our town and kids will suffer," said Mayer.

"They're gonna have to bus all these children out of town and they're already spending over an hour on the bus," said parent Rachel Reese. The closures at Gueydan and 7th Ward Elementary are among five options considered by the school board. But the Superintendent of Schools Randy Schexnayder doesn't believe it's the best choice.

"Right now that is not my recommendation," said Schexnayder. Among the options: a 2-and-a-half percent staff pay cut, eliminating 30 additional positions, using reserves, or forgoing the summer supplemental check.

"We're not a bottomless pit, you just have so much money and that's just so many things to do," said Schexnayder. The board takes a vote on Thursday July 15. Any cuts will happen this school year.

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