Lafayette School Board considers cutting administrative positions

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Though some School Board members questioned on Wednesday the potential loss of nine assistant principal positions to save about $867,000, the cuts remain in the district’s $256 million proposed general fund budget.

Board members met Tuesday and considered other staffing cuts to save the part-time and full-time principal’s positions.

During Wednesday’s regular board meeting, the administrative staffing issue came up again and board members were presented with a list of schools that would be affected.

However, no staffing decisions have been made, and the budget is set for final adoption July 17.

Based on projected student enrollment and current staffing formulas, nine elementary and middle schools are identified as overstaffed.

District Human Resources Director Bruce Leininger said Thursday some assistant principal posts may be vacant by the end of the summer since two assistant principals have been promoted to principals and a few others have spoken to him about moving to other jobs within the district.

The proposed general fund spending plan approved Tuesday by the board also includes reducing about 44 teacher’s positions due to overstaffing. The cuts don’t mean employees will lose their jobs.

There are about 190 vacancies district-wide to fill for the coming school year, Leininger said.

Schools that could lose a part-time principal’s position include: Carencro Heights, J.W. James, Myrtle, Prairie and Westside elementary schools.

A full-time administrator’s position could be cut from Ossun Elementary and Paul Breaux, Carencro and Scott middle schools.

At least seven other schools have too many administrators based on the staffing formula; however, staffing reductions are not recommended because the schools were reconstituted or for other reasons such as discipline concerns.

At least three of the seven schools overstaffed received additional assistant principal support as part of the district’s “safe schools” package approved by the School Board in the spring.

Those schools are Carencro, Comeaux and Lafayette High.

Two of the schools: Acadian Middle and Northside High were reconstituted or restaffed due to low-performance and will not be impacted by any administrative staff reductions, Superintendent Pat Cooper said recently.

Though, technically overstaffed, administrative levels also remain unchanged at N.P. Moss Preparatory Academy, which houses the district’s alternative programs, and W.D. Smith Career Center, which offers various career and technical education programs, according to the list presented to the board Wednesday.

Paul Breaux Middle School received an additional full-time assistant principal in November after a boost in enrollment pushed the school to about 820 students, Principal Loretta Caldwell said.

Central office staff projected enrollment in August for Paul Breaux at 734 — though Caldwell noted that centralized registration for new students won’t open until next week, and she estimated closer to 790 to 800 students will likely start at the school.

Caldwell said she attended Tuesday’s budget meeting with a list of rationales for maintaining both assistant principal spots at her school. Other principals of schools marked as overstaffed also attended the meeting, however, board members did not direct questions to any of the school-level administrators in the room.

Caldwell said the school has a high-volume of at-risk students and a high-volume of discipline issues.

The school is also the site of a foreign language immersion program, gifted education, special education services, and a population of about 230 overage students, she said.

Carencro Middle School is projected to have 691 students enrolled in the coming school year and Principal Spurgeon Banyard said he did not anticipate a negative impact from losing one of his two full-time assistant principals.

Banyard started at the school in October.

“They overstaffed the school to curtail some of the discipline problems before I arrived,” Banyard said. “I’m fine with it. Of course, having an extra administrator was nice, but I figured that would take place once the school got under control.”