L’ Observateur’s ONLINE POLL

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 4, 2010

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – By now, most people in the area know the St. John the Baptist Parish School System is having some problems balancing the budget. Administrators have been meeting daily to discuss the matter and determine where cuts can be made.

Accordingly, last week L’Observateur asked its readers, “With a projected budget shortfall of $6-10 million (it has now been revised to $3 million), the St. John Parish School System is considering a number of options to reduce costs. What action do you think the district should take?”

Not surprisingly, a large number of respondents thought most of the cuts should come from the administrative sector. In fact, nearly half thought the system should save money by cutting administrative costs.

Another third of voters thought the system should reduce costs by eliminating unfilled positions, a measure the district actually plans to take.

The other responses — cutting teaching staff, salaries, extracurricular activities and academic programs — garnered less than a quarter of the votes altogether. The remaining voters thought a choice other than the ones presented would be best.

A full breakdown of responses follows:

• 5 percent of respondents chose “Cut teaching staff.”

• 44 percent of respondents chose “Cut administrative costs.”

• 30 percent of respondents chose “Eliminate unfilled positions.”

• 7 percent of respondents chose “Cut salaries.”

• 10 percent of respondents chose “Cut extracurricular activities.”

• 0 percent of respondents chose “Cut certain academic programs.”

• 4 percent of respondents chose “Other.”