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Jun 8, 2012 11:51 AM by AP

Livingston school board cuts sick leave

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - The Livingston Parish School Board has voted to eliminate extended sick leave for all employees for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Superintendent Bill Spear told the board Thursday night the move will save the district approximately $1 million.

Under state Act No. 405, passed during the 2011 Regular Session, school districts may eliminate extended sick leave for employees if certain budgetary conditions are met.

The act defines extended sick leave as a policy permitting "each teacher to take up to ninety days of extended sick leave in each six-year period of employment, which may be used for personal illness or illness of an immediate family member . at any time that the teacher has no remaining regular sick leave balance."

Those conditions are the elimination of the 2.75 percent growth factor in state Minimum Foundation Program funds, a school district fund balance deficit in excess of 5 percent and an unrestricted fund balance less than 7.5 percent.

The act applies only to the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, according to its text, and makes exceptions for leaves due to catastrophic illness or injury.

State MFP funding will remain flat, without the growth factor, for the fourth consecutive year, Spear said Thursday.

And the unrestricted balance of the district's general fund going into 2012-13 will be just under $5 million, or 2.9 percent of the $173 million general fund budget, according to the 2011-12 revised budget.

In addition, the school district is heading into 2012-13 with a projected deficit of $4.6 million, Spear said in May when recommending a declaration of financial exigency.

The projected deficit is due to the addition of step raises and three furlough days taken in 2011-12 back into the budget, as well as increasing retirement contributions by 1 percent as mandated by the state, Spear said in May.

The Advocate reports the school board voted 8-0 to eliminate the leave days.

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