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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • New plan includes South Side Elementary closure; four-day school week

  • The Morehouse Parish School Board approves a plan to bring the budget in line for the 2014 - 2015 school year
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  • The Morehouse Parish School Board passed a five phase plan to balance the budget for the 2014 -2015 school year.
    Phase I consisted of a reduction in force in which 16 position would be removed at a savings of $2,127,683. Those positions are:
    Elementary Curriculum Secretary - $28,998
  • Title I Coordinator, Secondary - $122,994
  • Parental Involvement/Homeless - $88, 904
  • Psychologist - $88,483
  • Special Education - Assistive Technology Coordinator - $69,304
  • Child Welfare and Attendance Part-time Secretary - $15,000
  • Bastrop High School Librarian - $65,000
  • Bastrop High School - four teachers - $260,000
  • Morehouse Junior High - three teachers - $195,000
  • Special Education - three teachers - $195,000
  • Elementary PE - two teachers - $130,000
  • Elementary Lab - five teachers - $325,000
  • Elementary Instructional Facilitators - (3) - $225,000
  • Morehouse Magnet School - three teachers - $195,000
  • Bastrop Learning Academy Administrator - $100,000
  • Bastrop Learning Academy - Secretary - $24,000
Total savings from reduction in force $2,127,683
A motion was made and seconded to pass Phase I, which passed on a vote of five for by Louis Melton, Jeff Churchwell, Mike Stephens, Tamika Farrell and Robert Fenceroy voting for and Karen Diel and Ron Vollmar voting against.
Phase Two of the plan consisted of revised job descriptions for specific jobs, reducing 19 employees from 12 month to 11 month employees. These positions are:
Athletic Director/Head football coach
  • Jr. High School Principal
  • Combined School Principal
  • Secretary/Bookkeeper
  • Elementary Principal (5)
  • Alternative School Principal
  • High School Assistant Principal
  • Title I Coordinator
  • Elementary Curriculum Supervisor
  • Child Welfare/Attendance Supervisor
  • Child Welfare/Attendance Secretary
  • Transportation Coordinator
  • M-First Coordinator
  • Instructional Technology Facilitator
    Six positions were up to be moved from 12 month to 10 month. These include
    High School Assistant Principal (2)
  • Athletic Facilities Facilitator
  • High School Secretary
  • Field House/Groundskeeper
  • Junior High School Assistant Principal
  • Six positions moved from 10 month employees to nine month employees:
  • Page 2 of 3 - Computer Lab Teacher
  • Instructional Facilitator (5)
    Also included in Phase II were the adjustments to the job descriptions for two mechanics and five skilled maintenance employees.
    This phase would not not bring a large amount of savings the first year, due to the buy out of vacation time. But, the following years, it results in a savings of $183,800.
    This phase passed with a vote of five to two with Diel and Vollmar voting against.
    Phase III consists of moving the three schools located on the Bastrop Learning Academy campus- Fresh Start, Elementary Suspension School and Academic School - to different campuses and transferring the employees at the Resource Center and the Annex to that campus, centralizing special education departments and the technology departments.
    Fresh Start would move to Bastrop High; the elementary suspension and the academic schools would both move to Delta.
    It also consisted of closing the South Side Elementary School and creating feeder schools in the following format:
    H.V. Adams and Cherry Ridge would be pre-k through second grade
  • Oak Hill and Pine Grove would be third through fifth grade
  • Delta would be kindergarten through eighth grade
  • Morehouse Junior High would stay sixth through eighth grade and
  • Bastrop High School would stay ninth through 12 grade
    The savings of reconfiguring schools would be the salaries of 12 teachers at a total of $715,000 and the closing of South Side would realize a savings of $500,000 for a total of $1,215,000.
    This passed with a vote of six to one, with Diel voting against.
    Phase IV is the establishment of a four day school week (Tuesday through Friday).
    While the saving are undetermined at this time, there would a cut in the cost of transportation, utilities and maintenance. According to the plan, this would also boost staff morale and Mondays could be used for tutoring, professional development days and make-up days.
    It was established with this phase that tutoring would be held each Monday for seven hours and one and a half hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
    In the new school week, Bastrop High School, Morehouse Junior High, Morehouse Magnet School and Delta would begin at 7:30 a.m. and dismiss at 4:15 p.m. All elementary schools would begin at 8 a.m. and dismiss at 4:30 p.m.
    This motion was made and passed with a vote of six for and one against, with Vollmar being the "nay" vote.
    Phase V concerns surplus and unused materials and properties. In an unanimous vote, the board said to begin the process of getting appraisals on property and doing the necessary paperwork to have surplus materials sold.
    Page 3 of 3 - In this budget reduction plan, $3,343,549 is cut from a deficit of $3,840,537. This does not include unsold surplus or an exact figure on the four day school week savings.