Last week’s Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) meeting had several other items of interest, notably the introduction of the 2014-2015 budget and an executive session that dealt with the Copeland v School Board lawsuit that is almost fifty years old. The executive session lasted about thirty minutes.
A little over two years ago, a plan to redraw the Ruston School District attendance zones for elementary school pupils caused significant controversy. Many students were reassigned among the district’s four elementary schools, Hillcrest, Cypress Springs, Ruston Elementary, and Glenview.
The plans were developed in a series of secret meetings of the school board.
After the plan was implemented, the U. S. District Court relinquished supervision over faculty assignment, staff assignment, transportation, and extracurricular activities.
However, the court retained supervision over Alma J. Brown Elementary lab school, Grambling Middle Magnet School, and Grambling High School at GSU, and the A. E. Phillips Elementary at LTU. Reportedly, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit want the Lincoln Parish School Board to fund construction of new facilities at the lab schools.
During the Finance Committee Meeting, Business Manager George Murphy presented the proposed 2014-2015 budget.
See here the budget summary.
Murphy said that while the budget proposed spending about $1.3 million more than expected revenues, the district still had ample reserve funds for the year.
Said Murphy, “It’s not anything we need to be alarmed about, but it is something the state may cite us on as far as having recurring deficits.”
The money is being spent on several capital projects, Murphy said. Among the projects is the Ruston High School (RHS) baseball field, Ruston High tennis facility, and playground equipment at elementary schools.
Murphy noted that while the fund balance has declined over the past several years from a high of about $40 million in 2008 to about $30 now, the funds were used for capital projects, such as the $4 million field house for the RHS football team.
In other business, the board hear from Chief Academic Officer Mike Milstead, who reported on the district’s Strategic Academic Plan. The plan contemplates educational excellence based on clearly defined standards, so that students can realize their potential.