Washington Mayor expresses growing skepticism for St. Landry School Board tax usage

WASHINGTON, La. (KLFY) - Over the past couple weeks, Washington Mayor Joe Pitre has voiced concern about a lack of information and failure to meet requests from the St. Landry Parish Schools Superintendent Patrick Jenkins.

This led to him researching and finding statistics of the current proposed tax plan currently and one from the 1980s.

All he wants to know is where are the dollars going?

"It's too suspect. I don't know what's being done. I don't know if the right thing is being done with the money they already collected," says Pitre.

Pitre references a tax proposal that passed in 1986 with a base of $174 million.

The proposal gave teachers a $3,800 dollar increase while paraprofessionals received a $1,800  increase.

Since that time the base has increased by nearly four times that number.

It is currently $651 million dollars and an increase for teachers to over $14,000 and over $6,700 for paraprofessionals.

Pitre says he has talked with many teachers and they say they have not seen any change in their paychecks.

He has tried several times to receive the information from the school board about where the money has gone but was never given an answer.

"If you have nothing to hide then why don't you release the information. It's public information," says Pitre.

Pitre says adding another tax plan, which is proposed for March, on top of this will just create more confusion about the use of the funds.

Added on to that, he says the proposal has four different paths for how it can be played out.

"We don't know which option they are going to choose. Why should we vote for something and not know what the hell we are voting for?" says Pitre.

KLFY reached out to the St. Landry Parish School Board about the use of funds and where that money is being implemented and received no response.

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