Mere minutes after Business Manager George Murphy cited severe revenue shortfalls facing the Lincoln Parish School District the School Board voted unanimously at last night’s meeting to award Superintendent Mike Milstead a four-year extension to his contract, along with a $10 thousand/year salary sweetener.
Milstead’s salary will go from $137 thousand/year to $147 thousand. Additionally, he receives, yearly, $7 thousand in medical benefits, $37.6 thousand in retirement contributions, and about $10 thousand in travel benefits.
See here the 2015-2016 audit, pg 161.
Earlier, Murphy notified the board that for the 2017-2018 school year, the state’s Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funding would be reduced some $5.4 million for the 2017-2018 school year.
Said Murphy, “For 17-18, reduction in MFP of $5.4 million. For the time being, we’re OK. Y’all need to know that it could be tough times for the next couple of years.”
Also, Murphy noted that local sales tax collections are down significantly less that last year. For the first eight months of the current fiscal year (7/1/16-6/30/17), sales tax collections are $3.8 million lower than the same period for the previous fiscal year.
See here the sales tax report.
Murphy opined that the July salary supplement (14th check) should be okay for now.
Not so the district’s medical plan. Murphy said that they may soon have to deal with the increase in retiree medical costs.
“It may not be where everybody’s happy about it out there with the retirees,” Murphy said. “We have a responsibility to make sure this thing stays solvent. We will come to you, and there’s probably some tough decisions to be made,” he added.
In other business, Milstead said he would be asking the board soon to approve redrawing Ruston School District elementary attendance zones for next school year.
Presently, some elementary students on the east side of the Ruston School District are bussed across town to attend either Glenview or Cypress Springs. The new proposal would make US Hwy 167 the approximate dividing line. Elementary students west of the highway would go to Glenview and Cypress Springs, while those on the east side would go to Ruston Elementary or Hillcrest.
Provision would be made so that students newly enrolled in a school for Kindergarten or first grade could stay there if desired, or could move a newly assigned school.
Finally, there was a bit of discussion about the recent Louisiana School Board Convention annual convention in New Orleans, and whether it was worth the expense to attend.
Asked how much the taxpayers were on the hook for, Murphy said “about $11 thousand.”