Investing in Foundations for the Future
The Calcasieu Parish School Board has a crucial issue before us on Saturday, December 11, with two 10-year tax renewals on the election ballot parish wide. Representing nearly $57 million in annual operating revenues, the renewals are essential to the overall long-term future of the Calcasieu Parish School Board.
Taxes are generally approved for a specified period of time before going back to the voters for reauthorization. Those reauthorizations are called “renewals,” as written on actual ballots for the voters to consider. Both of the Calcasieu Parish School Board taxes on the December 11 election date are 10-year tax renewals that were approved last on March 24, 2012 and expire in 2022.
Both the ½ cent sales tax and the 9.52 mill property tax presented for renewal are used for operational expenses in the General Fund, the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s operating account. Parts of these taxes can generally be attributed in part to all school system non-grant expenditures. The breakdown of expenditures follows:
The nearly $57 million per year generated by these two renewable taxes plays a vital role in the operations of the school system and truly reaches into the cost of every employee’s salary and every child’s education. The ½ cent sales tax and the 9.52 mill property tax represent 15% to 17% of the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s annual operating budget over the last five years and certainly have an impact on the quality of education offered in our school system.
While our school system has certainly experienced challenges in the last several years with COVID-19 and natural disasters, we have always continued to focus clearly on the most important aspect of education: the relationship between teachers and students. In fact, greater than 83% of our operating budget is spent on salaries and benefits. With another 6.4% spent on maintenance, 2.2% on materials, equipment and textbooks, and .6% on transportation, it becomes clear how crucial these two tax renewals are to continue to provide our current levels of service.