In a pre-election vote on rolling forward the tax millage rate, the Bossier Parish School Board last night voted no. Superintendent D. C. Machen urged the board to be cautious, stating that they will need to propose a new bond issue soon to deal with growth.
Board member Eddy Presley was the lone vote in favor of the roll-forward, and he attached his reason to a bonus payment to teachers.
"Tonight we voted for a one time pay increase to teachers," he said. "That's $2.6 million. That $3.2 million from the millage could have helped us with that and allowed us to pay our teachers at a higher level rather than being at the bottom of the list. We have the best teachers and they deserve to be paid for it."
Bill Kostelka voted against the proposed 2010-2011 budget as well as the teacher supplement.
“We are in uncertain times of not only what's going to happen with our budget but what the state's going to do to us. Earlier we voted to not raise any taxes so we are talking about taking this money out of our surplus and I vote against it."
Kostelka’s reasoning and Presley's vote seem to be in sync with what Evodna Springer wrote at Vote the Record:
So what does it all mean? It means the Bossier Parish School Board incumbents running for office have proposed a tax increase while sitting on a $20 million surplus, have proposed a budget with a $5 Million deficit, and plan on paying for that deficit with a portion of the surplus. IF all things continue down this path, and the School Board has a $5 Million deficit this year and for each of the following three years, the surplus will be gone and Bossier Parish School Board will be broke. My prediction is that the Bossier Parish School Board will announce at their September 2nd meeting that they will not roll forward on the proposed tax increase and they will continue with the bonus checks to certain Bossier School System employees thus garnering favor from the voters and winning reelection, all the while headed for fiscal disaster.