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Photograph: St. Landry Parish School District Finance Director Shaun Grantham and School Board Attorney Courtney Joiner answer questions during a Thursday meeting. (Photograph by Bobby Ardoin.)

Editor/Consulting Writer

St. Landry Parish school employees will have to wait a little longer from District officials to receive a stipend approved earlier this year by state lawmakers.

School Board members set a Sept. 21 special meeting to discuss when to release the $2.4 million allocated to the District for certificated and support workers.

The stipend, which is part of an attempt by state officials to increase the pay of teachers and the school work force, intends to provide teachers with a $2,000 stipend. Support personnel are scheduled to receive $1,000.

Although the matter of the stipends was not included on the Thursday night meeting agenda, the Board voted unanimously to discuss the issue after board member Renee Aymond requested a status discussion.

Board attorney Courtney Joiner allowed the stipend issue to proceed after board members took a vote.

During the meeting, Superintendent Milton Batiste III told board members that the District has already received funding from the state and the revenue package is secure until payment is dispersed.

However Batiste also indicated that the state allotment is based on the number of employees the District had during 2022-23. 

There are more employees in the District now than during the last school session, Batiste said.

Finance Director Shaun Grantham told the Board that it might be more prudent to wait until Oct. 1 when the District provides state education officials with the number of students who have attended classes since Aug. 10.

Grantham also told board members that she and the District payroll department will require at least a week in order to provide the checks and distribute them to employees.

Board member Milton Ambres told Batiste that school workers understood that they would receive the stipends sometime in September.

Ambers and several other board members said they have been receiving inquiries from their constituents asking when the money for the stipends will be released.

Grantham left the meeting hurriedly and told a reporter that she had no comment.