Parish school board passes budget with $2.2M deficit

Published 5:53 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

VIDALIA, La. — The Concordia Parish School Board unanimously passed its 2022-23 consolidated budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year during a special-called meeting Thursday.

The budget includes revenue of $65.9 million and expenditures of $68.2 million for a deficit of $2.2 million, said Thomas H. O’Neal, Director of Business Affairs and CFO for Concordia Parish School Board.

The projected revenue increased from $58.7 million last fiscal year, however, expenses also increased from $60.9 million. The ending fund balance for the fiscal year 2021-22 is approximately $31 million and the projected ending fund balance for the fiscal year 2022-23 is approximately $29 million.

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O’Neal said the budget reflects a number of capital outlay projects the school district has, which exceed the deficit in cost.

Some expenses in the budget include building the new Monterey High School gym, repairs to press boxes at Ferriday and Vidalia High School Football Stadiums, installing new locks on exterior school doors and improvements to the baseball fields at Monterey. 

The budget also includes windows and HVAC units to be covered by the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, however, those funds are issued on a cost reimbursement basis.

During a public hearing pertaining to the budget on Sept. 8, school board president Fred Butcher said the ESSER projects cause a “distorted view” of the budget for this reason.

Budget expenses also include performance stipends for teachers, summer school programs, and school resource officers. 

In other matters during Thursday’s meeting of the Concordia Parish School Board, the board received bids for the remediation of a mold issue at its central office building on Carter Street. The work would include ripping out all of the carpets, cutting out drywall all the way around the building two feet from the floor and repairs. The lowest quote from a contractor in Scott, Louisiana, was $85,852. Board member Derrick Carson offered a motion that the board table taking any action until they can have a professional take some samples and find the source of the mold. His motion passed unanimously.