Vermillion Parish School Board hit by declining oil and gas revenues

ABBEVILLE - Declining oil, gas, and sales tax revenues have lead School District Chief Financial Officer Phillip Sellers to have to take away a 13th supplemental check from teachers and staff. The only other choice to cut expenses would have been to take money away from the schools themselves possibly even letting some teachers go.

At the same time revenues have fallen off the state has also cut some of the funding. The state used to pay for National Board Certification stipends, summer school, and after-school school programs now the District has to pick up these costs.

One employee said, visibly upset said, “you promised you would not take away this check. That is what is causing anger and confusion. I don’t spend this check on frivolous things. I spend it at the grocery store in Abbeville, La. You promised you would not take this check away.”

Board members uniformly agreed it was a difficult thing to have to do. However, they claim that it was necessary to eliminate the checks to protect schools and jobs.

“I have already had two schools in my district closed,” said member Ricky LeBouef. “I have to protect our schools, so I have to support the measure.”

The Board hopes that next year the financial situation will improve.

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