Parents react to Morehouse debt reduction plan - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Parents react to Morehouse debt reduction plan

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BASTROP, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Residents in Morehouse Parish are reacting to the school board's decision tomake some drastic changes, all in hopes of getting rid of their 3.8 milliondollar deficit.

On Tuesday, the boardapproved a five point plan that includes consolidation, closing one elementaryschool and laying-off some staff.  

These changes will affecta lot of people in Morehouse Parish, especially moving to a four day schoolweek.

Parent Chauncee Brooksworks third shift, has three children under seven and says her options forchildcare are few.

"I guess we're goingto have to try to work it out the best way we can," Brooks said.

Under the plan, the schoolboard will cut salary costs by making personnel changes, sell excess propertyand real estate, consolidate schools, close Southside Elementary School andmove to a four day week.

Sara Hoeppner is a waitressand her children attend Southside Elementary. She has child care options andher kids will now go to a school closer to home.

'The only thing I'mworried about is less education because they have an extra day out. That is myonly concern," Hoeppner said.    

Superintendent GeorgeNoflin said parents will have the option to send their children to school ontheir day out, for tutoring. He said buses will still run that day and a grantwill pay for the service.

"We will primarilyuse Bastrop High School for the secondary tutoring. We have not necessarilydetermined where the elementary tutoring will take place. So we only plan touse two buildings. We don't plan to use the entire fleet for transportation,"Noflin said.

It is unclear if the grantwill pay for the all of the tutoring services or if the parents will have topay a fee.

Brooks said the biggestissue with school board and residents is the lack of communication about theplan that was approved.

"They just sprung it onthe parents all of the sudden. They didn't prepare anybody for it," Brookssaid.  

Noflin said they willstart working on the personnel changes immediately. But he said, the rest ofthe school year will go on as normal. He said he has met a lot of resistance tothe changes, but in this case, it was necessary.

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