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Jan 22, 2010 6:30 AM by Jon Carrere

Vermillion Parish School Board Budget Cuts

Inside the Vermillion Parish School Board office, the numbers are flying around like a football thrown by Drew Brees on a Sunday afternoon.

"We started about two months ago brainstorming amongst the supervisory staff," Says Chief Finacial Officer Phil Sellers.

What they came up with was a way to cut over five million dollars from their budget.

How did they get that far in the hole?

Actually, it was beyond their control.

1. Oil and gas have seen a five million dollar decline in the past two years.

2. Total local and state minimum revenue is down 2 1/2 million from last year.

3. The parish has faced a 20% drop in sales tax revenue, leaving the school board's piggy bank 1 1/2 f million dollars short.

"This is just one of those things we have to handle," says Superintendent Randy Schexnayder.

He says figuring where to cut was no easy task.

Where they will suffer the most is in the classroom where teachers will have more students per class.

Vermillion Parish Schools perform in the top 15 percent statewide, but they receive the second lowest funding per student.

If they would receive an extra $1,400 per student it would bring the state minimum revene up to almost $8,500, the state average.

The increase would not only cover their deficit, but it would give them an extra 10 million dollars in surplus.

jcarrere@katctv.com

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