Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish School Board’ Category

Milstead: Lincoln Schools Free From Fed Oversight Soon

07/08/2015

The Lincoln Parish School District (LPSB) should achieve “unitary status” and be free of federal court supervision in its operation by the end of 2016, Superintendent Mike Milstead told last night’s meeting of the School Board.

That would mean that the system had implemented desegregation plans in good faith, and now operate an integrated system, as far as practically possible.

Said Milstead, “We are already unitary in five items – teacher assignments, step assignments, extracurricular activities, transportation, and facilities are already declared unitary.” He added, “By July 31, we will present to the DOJ (Department of Justice) those (plans) that are full implementation to the letter and the intent of the law” that would satisfy issues with schools in the Ruston School District.

The original Lincoln Schools desegregation suit was filed in 1966. Since that time, the federal courts have had oversight of the system.

Business Manager George Murphy reported that for the year 7/1/2014-6/30/2015, sales tax collections were about 27% greater than for the previous year, or about $4 million.

The district’s operational fund balance was still healthy, Murphy said.

Not so, the plan that funds medical benefits and prescription drugs for the employees. That plan is about $1 million in the red, year to date. Murphy said drug and medical costs are up significantly over the same period last year.

See here the document.

Murphy said he would be meeting with a consultant who helps administer the plan, and would have some recommendations by early fall.

Finally, the board approved a resolution setting millage rates for the year.

See here the memo.

Lincoln Schools Have Numerous Personnel Changes

07/06/2015

The Lincoln Parish School District (LPSB) looks to have one of the largest shifts in personnel in recent memory, according to the memos that will be reviewed at this week’s LPSB meeting. There are nine pages of new hires, resignations, retirements, and reassignments for the district.

See here the memo.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:00 PM, Tuesday, July 7, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

Seen on Burgessville Road This Morning

06/26/2015

Sign

New Desegregation Order for Lincoln Schools

06/03/2015

Concerning Glenview Elementary, Ruston Elementary, Cypress Springs Elementary, and Hillcrest Elementary.

See here the document.

Tuesday’s LPSB Meeting Routine

06/03/2015

Last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) was low key, with mostly routine matters considered.

Business Manager George Murphy reported on sales tax collections for May, and the various fund balances for the month ending 4/30.

Sales Tax Collections – May, 2015

Fund Balances – 4/30/2015

Murphy noted that the assets of the district’s self-insured medical and prescription fund was in deficit for the year and would like needed an infusion of cash from the sales tax fund.

Self-insured medical fund statement – 4/30/2015

Assistant Superintendent Mary Null reported on personnel changes, and also reviewed changes to the policy manual. That document had some changes to the district’s policy on electronic communications devices, and will be of interest to most all students and parents.

Personnel – June, 2015

Policy Manual Revisions

The board adopted the “official journal” for 2015-2016. The Ruston Daily Leader’s proposed rate increased from $4.75/hundred words to $5.75/hundred words. No other publication submitted a bid.

See here the memo.

Also, prior to the board meeting, a reception was held in the lobby to recognize those who retired this past school year.

See here the list.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tuesday

06/01/2015

The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Tuesday, June 2, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

“15 th Check” Approved by LPSB

05/13/2015

The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) voted a “fifteenth check” to employees at last night’s meeting, approving a $3 thousand bonus for certificated employees and $1,500 for support staff. The money became available after a recent flurry of oil and gas activity in the parish resulted in sales tax collections considerably above budget.

See here the memo.

Also approved was payment of the June salary supplement check (14th check) of $5,025 and $2,513 for the two employee classifications. The 13th and 14th bonuses have been paid consistently for the past several years, even though the district’s group health benefit fund is underfunded.

See here our story: (Auditor: School Board Unfunded Group Health Liability Over $120 Million – LPNO 2/4/15).

Business Manager George Murphy conceded last night that future sales tax windfalls would likely be applied to that fund.

The district has just under 1,100 employees, with 833 of them full time. Of the full time, 580 have teaching certificates, with 253 support personnel. 467 of the 580 are classroom teachers.

Murphy also reported on the April, 2015 tax collections and the 3/31/15 fund balance.

As we had reported last week, several new principals were appointed, and were introduced to the board.

No board vote was taken, as school superintendents have the authority to make personnel assignments unilaterally.

During the Building & Grounds Committee Meeting, Architect Mike Walpole reported on the construction projects in the district. He noted that the Hillcrest Elementary project had been delayed by weather, and would likely not be ready in time for the fall, 2015 school opening.

Principals Recommended for Lincoln Parish Schools

05/08/2015

Recommendations will be made for principal positions at several Lincoln Parish schools at next Tuesday’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB).

Choudrant High School – Tony Antley
Dubach School – Pam Pruden
Glenn View Elementary – Jana Comstock
I. A. Lewis – John Young
Ruston Elementary – Amy Brister
Ruston Junior High – Daryl Savage
Simsboro School – Rusty Farrar

See here the memo.

The vacancies came about after a significant reshuffling of key personnel last month.

Other personnel actions can be seen in this memo.

The board meeting will begin at 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

At 5:15 PM, there will be a meeting of the Building and Grounds Committee.

Here is the agenda.

Are Students the new “Human Shields”?

04/24/2015

Anyone who has paid the least bit of attention to tax proposals and government spending the past few decades is familiar with the tactic of declaring that education funding is untouchable.

“It’s for the the children,” the refrain goes.

We suggest this is but a political tactic similar to the use children as “human shields” in military strategy. Non-combatants are placed in or around combat targets to deter attacks on these targets.

Education bureaucrats, with their fat salaries, taxpayer funded retirements, and gold-plated medical plans, don’t make good advocates for more taxes. Legislators can dis them with impunity and go back to their taxpaying constituents and brag about it.

But students – now there’s a sympathetic group.

We accuse the Education Establishment of taking advantage of the very people they claim to advocate for, and using them for props in an effort to protect their own jobs.

We hope the legislature doesn’t take the bait.

National Merit Finalists @ LPSB

04/08/2015
Center, RHS Principal Ricky Durrett with (L) Austin Meng, (R) Nicholas Ruff Far left, Dave & June Meng, far right, Sonya Ruff

Center, RHS Principal Ricky Durrett with (L) Austin Meng, (R) Nicholas Ruff
Far left, Dave & June Meng, far right, Sonya Ruff

Last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) was one of those meetings that is an absolute pleasure to attend: recognition of National Merit Scholars.

From Lincoln School’s ACHIEVE Coordinator Cathi Cox-Boniol’s comments:

Ruston High School seniors Austin Meng, son of Dave and June Meng, and Nicholas Ruff, son of Michael and Sonya Ruff, have been announced as two of the approximately 15,000 Finalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Austin has maintained a 4.0 GPA and scored a 35 on the ACT. A member of the three-time state championship RHS Swim Team, he has been inducted into the National Honor Society and serves as a Bearcat Mentor. Austin is the pianist for the Barnett Springs Baptist Church, is a fundraiser for Relay for Life and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and has participated in Operation Christmas Shoebox and Nicaragua Feeding Stations. Recently named the Rotary Student of the Month, he has been named the State Literary rally overall winner in both Algebra II and Geometry and won state titles in both the 400 Free Relay and 200 Free Relay during the LHSAA Division II boys state swimming championships. Although he has been accepted at Rice, Austin is still undecided about where he will attend college but plans to study the sciences or engineering and is still considering Louisiana Tech, Georgia Tech, and Stanford universities.

Nick, our second awardee, has earned a 4.0 GPA as well and scored a 32 on his ACT. Inducted into the National Honor Society, he is a four-year member of both the reigning state championship RHS swim team and the Bearcat Band where he currently serves as Band Staff Manager. A member of First Baptist Church in Ruston and its Youth Group, Nick also serves at Rolling Hills and is a volunteer swim coach. The proud recipient of three consecutive LHSAA Division II Boys state swimming championship rings, he is a nominee and participant in Louisiana Boys State and has also been named Rotary Student of the Month for this year. Nick will be attending Louisiana Tech University this fall to study engineering.

Board President Otha Anders (District 10) put it best when he said, “I want to tag you with ‘Academic Champions.’ That means a lot to me because of all of my years in education.”

Also recognized last night was Louisiana Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist, Ruston High School (RHS) biology teacher April Winstead.

The board unanimously approved a two-year contract with Mike Milstead as Lincoln School District Superintendent. His pay will be $132,132/yr, with a car allowance.

Commenting on the interview and selection process, Milstead said, “I think that the constituents of Lincoln Parish need to understand that this board represented them very well throughout that whole process. And it was a grueling process.”

During reports, Business Manager George Murphy said that a recommendation for an extra bonus check would be made at the May meeting. Sales tax collections have been significantly higher than what was budgeted, and will allow for the so-called “15th check,” over and above the customary 13th and 14th checks.

See here the financial reports:

March Sales Taxes
February Fund Balances


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 392 other followers