The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Tuesday, July 12, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.
Here is the agenda.
Lincoln School District Superintendent Mike Milstead said at last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board’s (LPSB) Building & Grounds Committee that planned Ruston High School (RHS) special education facility improvements will receive increased priority shortly. About $ 1/2 million in improvements is budgeted, according to the district’s capital outlay plan.
Said Milstead, “That something that’s an issue that for me would be a top priority.” He added that the plan will be updated and presented to the board later this summer.
See here the Capital Outlay Plan.
The items in green are those funded from a $20 million bond issue approved by voters in 2013, while those highlighted in yellow are projects funded from general fund recurring revenues.
The committee also approve a $1.6 million project at RHS that will add classrooms for the New Tech program, add soccer facilities, replace the auditorium roof, and replace the girl’s gym floor.
See here the documents.
During the meeting of the full board, Business Manager George Murphy said that over the past several months, sales tax revenues had plateaued, but total fiscal year collections were considerably higher than the previous year.
See here the report.
Dubach School grades 6, 7, and 8 will be moved to the Ruston School District for the 2016-2017 school year, it was revealed at last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB). Currently, Dubach serves grades K through 8.
Lincoln Parish Schools Superintendent Mike Milstead said the move makes financial sense.
The move will involve about 75 children, and about 10 teachers.
Milstead added, “All the faculty members at Dubach will have positions otherwise. It will diminish the number of employees we have in the district by approximately ten, saving us about $600 thousand a year.”
Plans are to add pre-K at Dubach, Milstead said.
Asked to clarify the money savings, it was said that even though no personnel would be laid off, the savings would come from retirements and other normal attrition, and then replacing those positions with the Dubach personnel.
Milstead also was asked if plans to completely close Dubach have been discussed, to which he said they had not.
“I have had none of those discussions. We have viable numbers at Dubach,” Milstead said.
Enrollment at Dubach should be about 125 to 150 pupils next year, he noted.
According to unconfirmed rumors, several of the upper grades will move to the Ruston School District. Currently, Dubach serves grades K-8.
The move comes three years after the closure of Hico Elementary and the relocation of those students to Dubach, and the reassignment of Dubach’s grades 9-12 to Ruston High School.
Recently, approximately $1.5 million was spent at Dubach for a new library and additional classrooms.
The board meeting is set for 6:00 PM, Tuesday, April 4, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.
Here is the agenda.
The following Lincoln Parish schools have announced their closings due to excessive flooding and road closures as of 0500 hours March 9, 2016.
Lincoln Parish Public Schools
Cedar Creek School
Bethel Christian School
Bethel Christian Daycare
AE Phillips Lab School
New Living Word Ministries School
Grambling State University
Louisiana Tech University
Ruston Montessori School
Kip Franklin, Director
Lincoln Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
161 Road Camp Road, P.O. Box 979
Ruston, La. 71273
Office phone – 318-251-6454
Cell phone – 318-607-8311
Fax number – 318-513-6209
Traxler Construction was the low bidder at $2.54 million for construction of a pep squad practice facility and a freshman locker room addition to the Jimmy “Chick” Childress Field House. The bid was significantly greater than the $1.92 million originally budgeted.
See here the memo.
However, according to Building & Grounds Committee Chair Trott Hunt (Dist 7), there is sufficient contingency funding in the overall construction budget to cover the overage, and then some.
Said Hunt, “When you look at the total program, we’re still over $300 thousand left in our contingency, and I think there’s right at a million five left to bid, per our original budget.”
The board also approved the advertising for bids for New Tech classrooms, soccer facilities, gym floor, and auditorium roof at RHS. The 2016-2017 school calendar was adopted (pg 9).
George Murphy’s report on February sales tax collections revealed a significant slowdown in collections over the past several months. Likely, the cause is a decline in gas drilling in Lincoln Parish since peaking in late 2014.
After our report last month comparing costs at Lincoln Parish schools vs Cedar Creek, we decided to delve further into where the money goes in the local public school system.
According to figures from the latest audit, about half the employees are classroom teachers.
From page 179, the report claims the teaching staff to be 475.
See here the document.
From page 176, the total number of employees is reported to be 963, as of mid-2015.
See here the document.
See here the complete audit.
The latest employment numbers from the school board are reported thus:
592 Full Time Certified
1 Part Time Certified
247 Full Time Non-Certified
147 Part Time non –certified (time sheets)
5 Part Time certified (time sheets)
118 sub teachers (some certified, some non-certified)
A year after warning the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) that it wasn’t funding employee retirement and health care programs sufficiently, Allen, Green & Williamson’s Amy Tynes was back again this year with similar warnings.
Said Tynes, “The total liabilities were $208 million. And you’ll notice if you compare this to last year, its around an $89 million increase. The past several years, we’ve had to record a liability on the books for that health care part of that promise. This year, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board came back and said we want to see what the dollar amount for the pension part that you’re promising your individuals, and that hit full force this year.”
She added, “For 2015, $54.8 million, that is how much on the books for your health care portion.”
Tynes said that the problem wasn’t isolated to Lincoln Parish, and that all the school districts in the state were not funding the programs nearly enough.
As far as daily operations, the Lincoln District audit had no findings, and showed the system to be in good financial shape.
In other reports, Business Manager Georg Murphy reported that the January Sales Tax collections are still greater than last year’s.
However, we noticed the increases are beginning to slow down, likely a result of the slowdown in the oil & gas activity in the area.
Murphy also said that the year was “horrible” for the health care insurance fund, but that recent increases in the deductible and copay rates hopefully would stem the red ink.