Though the Lafayette Parish School System has a chief financial officer, who’s also an accountant, the school board is once again trying to take the budget process into its own hands.

According to the Acadiana Advocate, despite two proposed budgets being offered by school system officials, individual board members have come up with their own plans for what should be cut to balance an $18 million deficit in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Those board members, the Advocate reports, include board president Hunter Beasley and board member Mark Allen Babineaux.

While Beasley claims to have come up with $2 million in potential cuts, Babineaux says he’s got a list of about $4 million worth of suggested cuts. Yet neither board member had that information available for Tuesday’s budget meeting.

The back and forth with school board members over the budget left Superintendent Pat Cooper a bit frustrated.

“What we would like is: tell us how much money you want to give us; then us, as the experts, figure out what we want to spend it on in order to get this district where we need to go,” Cooper told the board. “From what I’m seeing, you’re nit-picking us to death.”

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