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 positions 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
Elementary Principal (5)
Alternative School Principal
High School Assistant Principal
Title I Coordinator
Elementary Curriculum Supervisor
Child Welfare/Attendance Supervisor
Child Welfare/Attendance Secretary
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
Junior High School Assistant Principal
Six positions moved from 10 month employees to nine month employees:
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 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.
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.