East Feliciana school board to meet about possible layoffs

EAST FELICIANA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The East Feliciana Parish School Board meets Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of laying off employees; 20, to be exact.  Some of those could be teachers.  The new superintendent of the district says they have lost 100 students between the current school year and the last school year, which means there's less money to operate the system.

Dr. Henderson Lewis says when he took the reigns in East Feliciana he cut staff at the central office.  But now, the cuts may need to come from inside the schools.

"We're going to notify our employees once the board says this is direction we move forward in," Lewis said.

As of October 1, 2012, the district counted 1860 students. But in February, there were 1950. Some moved, others enrolled in charter schools and some took part in the Governor Jindal's school choice program.

"Between $600 to $700,000 in the hole now because of student enrollment that continues to decline here in the district."

With fewer students, Lewis says the only way to make up for the lost money in the budget is a Reduction in Personnel. Principals at the districts 5 schools have already been asked to help, looking at their current staff roster and deciding what they need to run their schools.

For example, the superintendent says if a school has three teachers for 55 second graders, split those students into two classrooms and cut the extra teacher.  Not ideal in the middle of a school year, but he says something has to be done.

He says whatever the cuts at each school, class size will stay under 30.

But if the board denies his solution to the budget problems

"We will end up deficit spending and spending money you do not have," Lewis said.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.