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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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School Board committee considers pay cut

School Board committee considers pay cut

A Lafourche Parish School Board member is asking the board’s Finance Committee to consider reductions in compensation and benefits that would save over $100,000.

At this week’s committee meeting, Ann Sanamo recommended a measure that would adjust the 15-member board’s pay as if there were nine members.

Sanamo, the committee’s vice president, suggested a reduction in compensation from $9,600 to $4,800 a year per board member. Board President Al Archer’s salary would be reduced from $10,800 to $6,000 a year.

Benefits and travel expenses would also be reduced under the recommendation. Life and dental insurance would be eliminated, with a total savings of $1,728 a year for the entire board.

Sanamo said the School Board could decide on such a measure without seeking legislation, but the changes wouldn’t go into effect until January 2019 per a Louisiana statute.

The School Board decided May 3 to eliminate positions, including teachers, assistant principals and librarians, after a 1 percent sales tax failed April 29. The School District had already cut about $3.9 million from its budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, including by increasing student-teacher ratios and cutting certain programs.

On Aug. 2, the board voted against seeking legislation that would be required to reduce its size from 15 to nine members.

Sanamo voted against seeking the legislation. She and other board members have argued that a reduction in board size would mean less representation for certain parts of the parish.

She asked that the Finance Committee to discuss compensation and benefits reductions again next month.

“We can make a good dollar change to our budgets, keeping our numbers at 15,” she said.


-- Staff Writer Bridget Mire can be reached at 448-7639 or Follow her on Twitter @bridget_mire.