St. Landry

Feb 27, 2012 11:20 PM by Maddie Garrett

St. Landry Teachers Worry Their Jobs are On the Line

A $3.9 million budget deficit still looming over the St. Landry Parish School Board. The Board and various committees held three meetings on Monday to address some of the issues pertaining to the budget and impending cuts.

With such a deep budget gap, Interim Superintendent Donnie Perron said employee cuts are inevitable.

"It's going to be across the board, all the way from support staff to central office," said Perron.

But after Monday's meetings, some teachers are worried their jobs will be on the line more than those in the central office.

"And this parish cannot afford to have our students be jeopardized because of an inappropriate RIF (reduction in force) policy," said Kelly Andrepont, a member of the St. Landry Parish United Coalition of Educators.

Andrepont is an educator as well, and said in December they were told some teachers would be part of a committee that revised the staff reduction policy.

"Today we're here and this policy is up for review and no one from the coalition or anyone outside of central office staff has been allowed to have input in this policy," she explained.

Perron defended his decision, saying a small committee made up of central office employees could act faster, especially at a time when speed is necessary to get policies in place before cuts have to be made.

"Whether we'll change the student teacher ratio we don't know, it will probably be something that will have to be done because we're going to have to shrink the workforce. And we're going to try to do this with the least interference with our instructional process," said Perron.

The updated reduction in force policy simplifies the process of reducing staff and will go to a vote before the School Board in March.

"We need to quit all of this behind the closed doors policy making, everything needs to be presented to the public," said Andrepont of the policy.



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