Bonus for teachers

One-time supplement OK’d despite backlash

<div class="Content"><p class="indent">Calcasieu Parish School Board members unanimously approved Tuesday a one-time supplement of $3,000 for teachers and $2,100 for support staff, despite some residents questioning the funding source and the amount being spent.</p><p class="indent">The bonus, which will appear on November’s paycheck, comes from a school board fund that allocates specific sales tax revenue for employee salaries and benefits. Of the $28 million currently in the fund, $17 million will be used for the one-time supplement, according to Karl Bruchhaus, CPSB superintendent.</p><p class="indent">Eric Tarver, District 8 board member, cautioned the audience of “false and misleading” information, which suggested the board misappropriated funds, or “harsh and abrasive” critics who urged the board “drain the account.”</p><p class="indent">The board agreed to set aside part of the money in the fund after hearing that the district could face sharp Minimum Foundation Program reductions from the state department in the next school year, Tarver said. Bruchhaus said recent projections show a cut of $11 million in state funds.</p><p class="indent">Bruchhaus mentioned that sales taxes have declined significantly over the course of the year. Billy Breaux, District 13 board member, said there is no guarantee that the funding source will always yield such a surplus.</p><p class="indent">“It’s easy to be Santa Claus when the economy’s booming, but we want to create a stable salary for an extended period of time,” Breaux said.</p><p class="indent">District 2 Board member Fred Hardy supported the supplement, but said the board should be clearer in defining such matters.</p><p class="indent">“If our own employees have trouble trusting what we’re doing, what’s the general public going to think,” he asked.</p></div>

<span style="font-weight: bold;">Eric Tarver, District 8 board member, cautioned the audience of ‘false and misleading, information, which suggested the board misappropriated funds.</span>

””<p>Calcasieu Parish School Board</p>

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