CLINTON — The East Feliciana School Board amended its budget Tuesday for the school year that ends June 30, making changes to reflect gains in sales tax revenue and a slight decrease in state funds.
The amended general fund budget anticipates an operating deficit of $277,000 by the end of the month.
“That’s not something we can carry on, going forward,” financial adviser Tommy LeJeune told the board.
The deficit is expected to whittle the general fund’s reserves to just $678,285, if the amended budget is on target.
LeJeune said sales tax revenues are expected to be about $1.5 million for the fiscal year, an increase of $300,000 over the original budgeted figure. He said the increase may be related to oil drilling activity in the parish.
The board was scheduled to have a public hearing Tuesday on next school year’s budget, but LeJeune said the Finance Committee is continuing to study the budget structure, the use of contracted services and alternatives for the use of taxes dedicated to employee salaries.
The deadline for submitting the budget to the state Education Department is Sept. 30, he said.
Other topics covered by the board included:
MOVING SCHOOLS: Board member John B. Cupit said he wants the board to discuss the possibility of moving the parish’s consolidated high school from Jackson to Clinton and moving the consolidated middle school from the old Clinton High building to the former Clinton Middle School site.
Cupit said the Clinton area sends more students to the high school in Jackson than does the Jackson area, which he said loses students to West Feliciana Parish and the new Slaughter Community Charter School.
Jackson member Mitch Harrell said Cupit is “beating a dead horse” and the reason for consolidating the two high schools in Jackson two years ago was to allow students to have the opportunity for dual enrollment in the neighboring vocational-technical school in Jackson.
Board President Michael Bradford said he will set up a special committee of board members and the public to explore all aspects of consolidating the schools.
He said he would have the committee framework established by June 19, when the board has a special meeting to hear incoming Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr.’s plan for reorganizing the central office staff.
SUPERVISOR RETIRING: The board approved the retirement request of Jackie Lacy, longtime child welfare and attendance supervisor, and voted to advertise for her replacement.