The Bossier Parish School Board made some cuts at their last meeting that will directly affect students and teachers. They voted to cut the parish per-student funds from $38 to $29. At the same meeting, technology was cut from $20 to $15, student fees from $10 to $8 and copier fees from $8 to $6.
For some schools, this may not have a drastic effect due to the affluence of the areas they serve. Benton Middle School raised $4,000 at a Sonic Night fundraiser, for example. Parkway, Airline and probably Haughton schools are capable of raising funds in their areas. Plain Dealing and Bossier High School, probably not so much.
Teachers copy allowances have been cut drastically, most teachers are having to pony up out of their own pockets just to make copies for class.
Of course, voters turned down propositions for employee raises and for technology. The main reason I heard at the time that the raises were denied was that the system was too top heavy, that if the money could go to teachers and lower tier employees, the vote would have been switched.
That, at least, is an out for the Board. They didn’t pay attention to the sentiment of the vote when they gave Superintendent D. C. Machen a $50,000 per year raise. I’m not saying that he should not be paid more in line with neighboring districts, this isn’t aimed at him.
It is aimed at the Board for giving the Superintendent a raise that by itself exceeds the average income of Bossier Parish households at the same time that crucial classroom expenses are being cut.
I went to the School website to check the minutes of the meeting, but the last minutes posted are for August 1st. It will be interesting to see who voted yea and nay.
A School Board special election is coming up in october for Dr. Brigham’s seat. It will be interesting to see what those candidates think of the cuts. Someone needs to ask them.
I volunteer. More later!