Taxpayers dedicated proceeds to teachers

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LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — The Lafayette Parish School Board is trimming the number of employees who are eligible to receive salary bonuses from sales tax revenues dedicated for teacher salaries.

Board finance chairman Justin Centanni told The Advocate ( the decision was based on financial responsibility to taxpayers and is not a reflection of the value of an employee's job.

Voters approved a half-cent sales tax in fall 2001. Its proceeds are referred to as the 2002 sales tax fund. Supporters said the tax was a way to boost classroom teacher pay.

Since then, other employee categories have been added to the tax fund, a situation that some board members say has created dissent among eligible and non-eligible employees.

Excess revenue from the tax is paid out in an extra check paid to eligible employees that has ranged from $1,200 to more than $2,000 in recent years.

Board members asked staff to review eligibility requirements and make a recommendation on which employees don't meet the criteria.

Centanni said all employees deserve the supplemental check and the board is attempting to "honor the intent of the voters who dedicated this funding stream."

He said the board's decision would not mean that employees wouldn't receive raises or supplemental pay.

"We just can't give it to them from this money right here," he said of the 2002 sales tax fund.


Information from: The Advocate,

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