ST. FRANCISVILLE — A half-cent sales tax voters approved in April will allow West Feliciana Parish school employees this year to regain their annual step raises for the first time in two years.
Although the general fund budget for 2012-13 the School Board approved Tuesday does not include a cost-of-living raise, employees now will go back to getting annual raises based on their years of experience.
Voters also renewed an 11-mill property tax in April that keeps intact a $3,000 per year supplement for employees with teaching certificates and $2,000 per year for other employees.
The general fund budget projects revenue of $24.92 million and the same for expenses, including a transfer of $64,000 to cover a deficit in the school lunch fund.
The board puts some of a half-cent sales tax voters approved in 2010 into a “rainy-day fund” for emergencies and has used the fund to cover deficits for two years, including a $48,694 deficit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to figures presented by Superintendent Hollis G. Milton and Finance Director Helen “Ruthie” Davis.
The board has authorized reserving up to $500,000 in the special fund for fiscal emergencies.
The fund contained $474,000 as of June 30.
In a related matter, the board elected to keep three of its property tax millages at the same level for 2012 as they were last year, rather than rolling them back by a total of 0.49 mills to offset an increase of $2.3 million in property assessments in this reassessment year.
Keeping the three taxes at 30.21 mills will bring in about $70,000 more, Davis said.
The board also levied a 2-mill tax to pay principal and interest this year on an outstanding bond issue and put the renewed 3.75-mill salary supplement tax back on the rolls for a total levy of 35.96 mills.
Other business before the board included:
LOST TIME: Milton said parish schools must make up one day of classes because of school closures during Hurricane Isaac.
He said half-day schedules for Oct. 17 and March 6 will be extended to full days, and to pick up some extra minutes of instructional time, the parish schools will go an extra eight minutes on the days scheduled for early dismissal.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING: The board recognized 10 employees who finished a leadership academy held last year from October to May.
The school system came up with the academy idea after an accrediting organization, noting the ages of top administrators, recommended in 2008 that West Feliciana began preparing employees to fill those positions.
The 10 recognized are Elizabeth Bristow, Rebecca Johnson, Nicole Lynch, Mark Lester, Nicole Means, Cherie Reich, Megbe Hughes, Nikki Milton, Trish Robinson and Ed Sheridan.