A planned March 2010 election for $200 million of bonds requested by the Jefferson Parishwide School District has been postponed until October 2011.

School trustees deferred the election after narrowly failing to cancel the vote over concerns about the district’s plan to consolidate students from several existing schools into new facilities.

Superintendent Diane Roussel said consolidation is needed because the district lost thousands of students after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She told trustees that if some schools are not closed, the district would have to lay off teachers and eliminate programs.

Approval of the bonds would require a property tax increase of 3.5 mills.

The board’s debt is rated A2 by Moody’s Investors Service, AA-minus by Fitch Ratings, and AA by Standard & Poor’s.

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