Budget deficit could spell trouble for N.P. Moss

by Patrick Flanagan

Programs aimed at curbing dropout rates in the Lafayette Parish School System face elimination as a result of this year's budget crunch.

The Lafayette Parish School System faces an $18 million deficit, and despite having close to $70 million in its fund balance, the school board will likely choose cuts over dipping into the rainy day fund.

According to a report by the Acadiana Advocate, some of the cuts will likely target N.P. Moss Preparatory and a behavior intervention program called AMIKids.

Moss Prep is a second-chance school for the troubled students of the school system, and plays a vital role in curbing dropout rates.

The administration has recommended the school board consider using $10.8 million from its reserve fund, which would held avoid an adverse impact on Moss Prep and the AMIKids program.

"The loss of AMI would be a tremendous negative effect for us. I would prefer to staff more creatively and explore other possible cuts." Moss Principal Jody Duhon tells the Advocate. "The fact that our kids wear their pants on their waist is huge for us. We're not going to change 10 years of behavior in nine months. Kids who were here last year and spent a whole year here, we see maturity in them. We see our kids are invested in our school. They're beginning to take ownership and trust us. We still have a long way to go."

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