Voicing a lament common from governments at all levels since time immemorial, Louisiana State Representative Rob Shadoin (District 12) told last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB), “There’s not enough money to go around folks, and I know there’s some candidates that are spewing ‘well we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.’ I disagree with that.”
He also decried the partisan atmosphere in Baton Rouge thus: “I saw early, early, the breaking out of certain people in both parties that seem to be more loyal and pledged allegiance to an ideology of a political party rather than Louisiana first.”
The legislature last spring enacted several new taxes, over the objection of the more conservative house members.
Shadoin voted mostly for the taxes, he said, because the alternative cuts would have been too drastic. He seemed also to be disillusioned with the process, saying “I think we age in dog years down there. I wanted to come home.”
Next year’s session would be tough, Shadoin said, because the new taxes have a sunset provision and will have to re-voted again in the future.
Also at the meeting was Rep. Patrick Jefferson (District 11) who indicated that he would have voted for even more taxes.
Said Jefferson, “Many people said that we took several tough votes this past session. Well, you can repeat this, I didn’t take one tough vote.”
Shadoin and Jefferson were on the agenda to give a legislative update.
In school board business, the board voted to unanimously adopt the proposed 2016-2017 budget. In response to a question from this reporter, Business Manager George Murphy said that about 75 to 80 percent of the $80 million yearly is spent on payroll.
Assistant Superintendent Mary Null reported on the opening of school, and noted that total enrollment is right at 6 thousand students. That represents a decrease of almost 400 students that are now attending Grambling Laboratory Charter School.
The decrease in students will result in a decrease in Minimum Foundation Plan (MFP) funding from the State of Louisiana.