Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish School Board’ Category

NOLA City Layoffs Coming – We Told You So


Coronavirus response to leave ‘gigantic hole’ in New Orleans economy; Cantrell weighs layoffs

New Orleans Times-Picayune
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 – BY ANTHONY MCAULEY | Staff writer

The coronavirus outbreak and the efforts to slow its spread are set to levy a massive toll on the New Orleans economy, with the hospitality sector already seeing a sharp downturn in business and officials warning about likely cuts to city government.

Some New Orleans hotels are down to skeleton staffs amid the cancellations of conventions and events. Shuttered bars and restaurants that are now take-out only are being forced to lay off workers. And on Tuesday, while announcing that the city would allow business owners to delay sales tax payments, members of Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration said layoffs and furloughs of city workers may be coming.

“If we don’t make some of these important and drastic decisions now, it’s going to hurt us much more in the future,” said Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño, noting that the coronavirus response has already cost the city $1.5 million.

Local Government Layoffs Soon?


Unlike the Federal Government, The State of Louisiana and local governments cannot print money. They must rely on current revenues to meet expenses.

Lincoln Parish local budgets, with which we are intimately familiar, rely on sales taxes for a large percentage of revenue. The City of Ruston, in particular, funds all of the new 1.5% tax on restaurants and hotels.

With Gov. John Bel Edwards order shuttering restaurants all across the Bayou State, he has vaporized a huge revenue stream for local and state governments. Tourism will go away in the blink of an eye.

The largest expense component for government is payroll, in some cases making up 85% of expenses.

Many teachers probably thought closing the schools would amount to a month-long paid vacation. They perhaps should spend their time updating their resumes.

Used to be, having a government job was seen as having a lifetime guarantee of employment. You had to really mess up to get fired. Great retirement and medical benefits, too.

That hayride is about to end.

Special Called School Board Meeting


Today, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 10:00 AM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

4.1 Adoption of a Resolution to Declare State of Emergency Regarding the Governor’s Proclamation to Close all Louisiana Schools – Mike Milstead

5.1 Update on the current status of school closures – Mike Milstead

2020-2021 Lincoln School Calendar Released


The 2020-2021 school year calendar for the Lincoln Parish School District will be reviewed and considered for adoption at the regular monthly meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board set for Tuesday, March 3, 6:00 PM.

Here is the agenda.

First day of classes for students is Friday, August 14, 2020, with classes scheduled for half a day. The first full day of classes will be Monday, August 17, 2020.

Teachers will report a week earlier, on Friday, August 7, 2020. The last day of classes for students will be Monday, May 24, 2021.

See here the schedule.

Another action item is the May salary supplement check, set for award on 5/21/20, should the bard approve. Certified personnel will be paid $5,825, and non-certified $2,913.

See here the memo.

Also on the agenda is the personnel report.

Donna Doss New LPSB Member, Election Set


This morning’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board lasted but ten minutes, and as expected Donna Doss of Hico was appointed by the board to replace Mike Barmore who has resigned effective March 1.

District Four covers northern Lincoln Parish from the Union Parish line in the north, southward to near Cypress Creek; and from the Claiborne Parish line in west, eastward to Hwy 33.

See here the map.

That appointment is only until an 11/3/20 election to fill the rest of the unexpired term which ends 12/31/22. A resolution calling that election was also approved.

Remarked Barmore, “It’s been a good 13 years, I’ve enjoyed it, made some good friends, some good people, and I look forward to turning it over to Mrs. Doss. It’s been great – most of it.”

Doss, a 41 year career educator – with 20 years in the classroom – is no stranger to board meetings, often making reports and presentations during her stint at the central office.

She also served as principal at both Dubach and Simsboro Schools.

Barmore Resigns District 4 School Board Seat


District Four Lincoln Parish School Board Member Mike Barmore has resigned his seat, effective March 1, according to a memo received from the district office this morning.

See here the memo.

A special called meeting of the board has been scheduled for Thursday, February 20, 10:00 AM, at the Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street, to schedule a special election, and to appoint a temporary replacement until that election.

See here the agenda.

District Superintendent Mike Milstead has recommended that retired Testing and Accounting Coordinator Donna Doss be appointed to the seat. He is also recommending that the new election be scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Qualifying for the position would be July 15, 16, and 17, 2020.

School District Gets Clean Audit


The Lincoln Parish School District received an “unmodified” audit opinion for their 2018-2019 fiscal year books, Allen, Green & Williamson’s Margie Williamson last night told the monthly meeting of the school board.

An unmodified opinion is the best opinion that can be given, Green said, and means that the financial statements are presented, in all material respects, in accordance with applicable financial reporting framework.

She noted however, that the district’s fund balance had decreased.

Said Williamson, “The net change in fund balance for the general is actually a decrease of $3.5 million.”

Also, she said there were two findings, one of which involved monies at Simsboro School.

“Around mid-April, the principal contacted the athletic director and asked him to look into the baseball account. The baseball coach intentionally ignored school board receiving and expenditure procedures for the baseball fund. Throughout the year, he collected funds without receipting individuals who turned in money to him and he didn’t deposit these funds into the school account. The baseball coach stated that the funds he collected and didn’t deposit were used for various purposes, but were all for school purposes. But he didn’t provide any receipts for those expenditures.

Several issues were also noted where the bookkeeper didn’t follow the school board policy regarding student activity funds. There were numerous receipts written to individuals she didn’t actually receive money from. Most of the receipts reviewed had no documentation. Fund raisers weren’t tracked or reconciled.”

The second finding involved an inadvertent error in the health insurance fund.

The board head several reports from department heads, including the monthly personnel report

Dubach NOT on School Board Agenda


As promised by Lincoln Parish School District Superintendent Mike Milstead last week, the issue of Dubach School is not on the agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting of the school board.

The meeting is set for Tuesday, February 4, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston.

Here’s the complete agenda.

Milstead Relents on Dubach School Closure


Dubach School Gymnasium – Town Hall meeting Monday, January 27, 2020

Lincoln Parish School Superintendent Mike Milstead this morning messaged Dubach parents and wrote that the future status of Dubach School WILL NOT be on next week’s school board meeting agenda, and that the school will remain open for the foreseeable future.

Milstead’s action came after a boisterous “town hall” meeting with Dubach area parents and residents at the school’s gymnasium last night.

The crowd looked to be a hundred or so. Originally, the meeting was to be in the school cafeteria, but that soon proved to be too small.

Wrote Milstead:

Good morning, Dubach parents. This is Mike Milstead, Superintendent of Lincoln Parish Schools. I appreciate each of you that came to the community-school meeting last night, Monday, January 27th. I appreciate your passion for Dubach School. After being part of that meeting and listening to you,the Lincoln Parish School Board will NOT move forward with placing the future of the school on the next school board agenda. Dubach School will remain open for the foreseeable future. Let’s turn all the energy and enthusiasm for Dubach School into helping the school become the most successful school in the District.

During the meeting, Milstead indicated that it was the consensus of the district’s staff and the board members that the school should be closed after the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Budget constraints prompted the move, Milstead claimed.

“We’ll save $500 thousand per year. We in the school business need to balance our budget. In order to do this, then we have to make some changes,” he said.

He continued, “This board and I have talked over the last six, eight months about ways we could do things to balance the budget. This keeps coming up.”

The issue hasn’t been on the board’s agendas, nor has it been discussed in public meetings that we’ve attended over the past year.

We asked when it was discussed, and Milstead said, “One on one conversations that I can have with board members individually.”

Milstead was continually peppered with comments and questions from the audience. Typical of the questions was where were the school board members who would make the final decision, and why weren’t they at the meeting.

Milstead said that they had all been invited.

Two members were there, Mike Barmore (District Four) and Danny Hancock (District Five).

Another comment that received wide applause was the suggestion that students be bused from Ruston to Dubach in order to increase the enrollment at the smaller school.

Another issue that came up was the million dollar cheerleader building at Ruston High School, and the suggestion that if money is tight, how could that expenditure be justified.

Dubach School Days Numbered?


A letter distributed earlier this week to parents of Dubach School children has some people in North Lincoln Parish wondering if there’s a plan afoot to close the school completely.

The letter says District School Superintendent Mike Milstead “will discuss future opportunities for your child based on our current school score of ‘D’.”

See here the letter.

In 2016, grades 6, 7, and 8 were moved to I. A. Lewis and Ruston Junior High School. At that time, Milstead said there were no plans to close the school.

In 2013, Dubach High School students were moved to Ruston High School, and Hico Elementary School was closed.

Here’s that memo from 2013.

A meeting with parents is set for Monday, January 27, 6:00 PM at the Dubach School cafeteria.