Rapides Parish teachers go third year without holiday bonus

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Rapides Parish School teachers will go a third year without a holiday stipend.

During Tuesday's board meeting the topic failed to make it on the official agenda, and it was not discussed further.

Board member Wilton Barrios voted no, which kept it off the agenda. He said he voted that way after the finance director reported the district had a $751,238 deficit at the October meeting. He said he would love for teachers to get a bonus, but they can't give money that isn't there.

Several individuals assumed to be teachers, walked out as the stipend was turned down.

Darrell Rodriquez was the board member who tried to add it to the agenda.

"Rapides Parish and the school board and the administration would not be having the success they are having right now if it wasn't for our hardworking employees," Rodriguez said.

Teachers said it's frustrating that they were not given a chance to voice their opinions.

"We are the ones in those classrooms, we are the ones doing the groundwork that makes this district a B district," said Lecompte teacher Paulley Rabalais. "However, we are not afforded the opportunity to speak and have to defend a bonus."

The board also passed approval for a performing and visual arts program at Bolton High School as part of its comprehensive intervention plan. They will discuss cost and financing in January.

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