BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish’s school system will employ fewer classroom personnel for the 2019-20 school year, including four fewer school librarians, four fewer principals, 17 fewer assistant principals, and 65 fewer teachers, all positions eliminated in a general operating budget passed unanimously by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board Thursday, July 18, a report from The Advocate said.
A spokeswoman for East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools said in an interview with WAFB that officials with the school system took every step possible to protect the classroom from being impacted by staffing cuts necessary to balance the budget.
The spokeswoman says several steps were taken to address the need for cuts, including not filling vacancies, ending interim employment, and reassigning employees from overstaffed schools.
The budget passed Thursday includes $454.8 million in spending, a 3.3 percent reduction. Outside of staffing, cuts included less spending on transportation and textbooks. The school system’s spokesman said a refocusing on digital and online resources minimizes what impacts would be felt by the cuts to spending on textbooks.
Additions to the budget includes $1 million to keep school compliant with the American With Disabilities Act, and more funding for charter schools which are expected to see continued growth in enrollment while non-charter schools are projected to see a decline in students.
One member of the school board, David Tatman, was not present for the vote, The Advocate reported.