Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish School Board’ Category

LP School Supt Milstead Talks Year-Round Schools

02/08/2017

In the year and a half that Mike Milstead has been Superintendent of Lincoln Parish Schools, one could hear hints occasionally about Milstead’s support for the concept of Year-Round Schools.

At yesterday’s meeting of the School Board, he expounded on the subject.

Said Milstead, “You’re re-configuring the calendar. You’re taking a 180 day school year, in theory, and maybe going 190 days, because you’re shortening the break time in summer. The goal is to get to the point where we have one school in the district that parents from anywhere in the district can voluntarily send their children to grades K through five.”

He added, “We’re going to have several focus groups, where we bring some people in and begin to have a conversation about what this should look like. The goal is make sure that every kid – every kid every year that is not a special needs kid – and even some of them – is not retained.”

Milstead said that the program would be voluntary, and would have a teacher/pupil ratio of 10 to 15 pupils per teacher.

Milstead noted that after the summer break, some pupils take as much as two months to regain their knowledge level achieved prior to the break.

He said that the program could be started within a year and a half, depending on future construction schedules.

Earlier in the meeting, the board got briefed on an unusual occurrence – an annual financial audit with significant findings.

Amy Tynes, with Allen, Green & Williamson, said two of the more serious findings were at the newly-chartered Lincoln Preparatory School in Grambling.

Tynes said the school’s administration failed to provide documentation for salaries and benefits.

Said Tynes, “They paid time for individual’s work, or their salaries and, benefits, but there was no support of the actual time worked. There were no time sheets, or anything like that.”

Over $100 thousand was involved, she said.

Also, the school failed to obtain bids for band equipment that was over the $30 thousand threshold for the state’s public bid law.

While the charter school is not directly controlled by the school board, any audit findings are reflected on the Lincoln School’s audit.

Lincoln School Board Tuesday

02/06/2017

The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Tuesday, February 7, 10:30 AM, Lincoln Parish Early Childhood Center, 801 East Mississippi.

Here is the agenda.

Lincoln School District Begins Push for April Property Tax Vote

01/11/2017

The administration of the Lincoln Parish School District (LPSB) has begun a systematic push to convince voters that they should vote to re-impose three expiring property taxes that will go before voters on April 29th of this year. They are:

4.94 mils “for the purpose of constructing, equipping and/or improving school buildings in the District or for the maintenance thereof.”
4.94 mils “for the purpose of giving additional support for operation of public schools in the District.”
8.98 mils “for the purpose of giving additional support to public elementary and secondary schools…”

Here is the resolution authorizing the vote that was approved at the December meeting.

At last night’s meeting of the School Board, Business Manager George Murphy said he and several other staff members from the central office are touring the district’s schools and informing employees what’s at stake.

Said Murphy, “All these people around here are going – Mr. Milstead, Dr. Lewis, Mrs. Bastion, and me, we’re going out to the schools so people can talk to us and they can see us eye-to-eye, and ask any questions they may have.”

A Power Point presentation shown to the board claims that If the taxes are defeated, expect the following:

Salaries for all full time certified and support workers will be reduced.
This would likely cause a reduction in personnel.
This would hinder local teacher and support personnel raises in the future.
Less money would be available for maintenance and repair of buildings and grounds.
We would receive less MFP money from the state, since the formula rewards districts for its local effort.
Retirees will have to pay for their insurance premium.
Technology enhancements and improvements would likely have to be curtailed.
Funding for construction, operations and maintenance would be reduced.

Here is the complete presentation.

In other business, the board re-elected unanimously Joe Mitcham and Lynda Henderson as President and Vice President, respectively.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tonight

01/10/2017

The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet tonight (Tuesday, January 10), 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

More on School Board Meeting

12/09/2016

At the Tuesday meeting, the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) heard from Chief Academic Officer Lisa Bastion with a report on the 2015-2016 academic year’s School Performance Scores (SPS).

Bastion said that parish-wide, the combined SPS moved up slightly, from 95.5 to 96, and the letter grade remained B.

Among the schools that gained were Dubach (66.4 to 77.7), Choudrant High School (113.2 to 114.1), and Ruston High School (100.3 to 107.3).

Several schools, however, declined. Among them, I. A. Lewis (95.6 to 80.8), Ruston Elementary (72.6 to 66.6), and Ruston Junior High (91.6 to 86.3)

See here the complete SPS breakdown.

Asked by District 7’s Trott Hunt what was planned to remedy the problem school’s scores, Bastion said the schools would become “targeted” for additional resources.

Said Bastion, “We have met with Ruston Elementary. We’ve actually broken out 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. We’re looking at revamping schedules. We have an interventionist helping.”

In other business the board heard from Business Manager George Murphy, who warned the board that sales tax collections had declined significantly, compared to the same time period last year.

Murphy said for the first five months of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, collections were $2.9 million less than the same period the year before.

See here the November sales tax report.

School Tax Vote Set for Next April

12/07/2016

A Saturday, April 29, 2017 election was set at last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) for voters to consider whether or not to re-impose three property taxes parish-wide for Lincoln schools.

Two of the millages are for 4.94 mils, and the other is for 8.98. Total collections are estimated at about $8 million. They are set to expire in 2018 and 2019.

The purpose of the taxes are:

4.94 mils “for the purpose of constructing, equipping and/or improving school buildings in the District or for the maintenance thereof.”

4.94 mils “for the purpose of giving additional support for operation of public schools in the District.”

8.98 mils “for the purpose of giving additional support to public elementary and secondary schools, more specifically as follows:(i) 5O% for paying salaries and benefits of teachers and other employees of the Lincoln Parish School Board, and (ii) 5O% for paying retirees single coverage health insurance premiums, paying for computer technology equipment, software, maintenance and training, cost of mandated summer school program, and for operating, improving and maintaining school buildings, facilities, vehicles and equipment.”

See here the resolution.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tomorrow

12/05/2016

The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet Tuesday, December 6, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

School Performance Scores Released

11/17/2016

2016-sps

See here the complete statewide list.

SPS: School Performance Scores

“Unitary Status” for Lincoln Schools in Sight

11/02/2016

Lincoln Parish Schools should be free of Federal oversight within the next few months, Superintendent Mike Milstead told the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) at last night’s meeting.

Later this month a U. S. Department of Justice representative will do a “walk through,” after which the final documentation will be submitted.

Said Mistead, “We want to this time next year have it as a non-issue, and then we can make some decisions for Lincoln Parish Schools.”

The district has been under court supervision for decades as to student racial makeup. The original desegregation suite, Copeland v Lincoln Parish Schools, was filed in 1966.

In other business, the board approved a resolution calling a public hearing at the December 6 board meeting to hear comments regarding a proposed April 29, 2017 tax election. Three parish-wide property taxes totaling nearly 20 mils are expiring, and the board will propose that they be re-imposed.

Business Manager George Murphy reported that October sales tax collections declined compared to the same period last year.

A. E. Phillips, Feds Reach Settlement

11/01/2016

Federal court orders desegregation of Lincoln Parish public school

KTBS – TV3 Shreveport

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the desegregation of public school in Lincoln Parish through a settlement agreement with Louisiana Tech University.

The agreement reduces enrollment barriers and further desegregates A.E. Phillips Laboratory School, a K-8 public school operated by Louisiana Tech on its campus in Lincoln Parish, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

A.E. Phillips, which opened in approximately 1910 as a segregated school serving only white students, was first ordered to desegregate in 1984. Following an investigation the Justice Department concluded, and Louisiana Tech agreed, that more work is needed to open up A.E. Phillips’ educational program to all students of Lincoln Parish.

As a laboratory school, A.E. Phillips is known for its strong academic programs and teaching, and serves as a resource for Louisiana Tech’s College of Education to train future teachers and apply innovative education techniques.

The University of Louisiana System, the Louisiana Board of Regents, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Louisiana State Superintendent of Education are also parties to the settlement agreement. Under the consent order, Louisiana Tech and A.E. Phillips will do the following:

increase the percentage of black student enrollment so that the percentage of black students enrolled at A.E. Phillips reflects the percentage of black students in grades K-8 enrolled in Lincoln Parish School Board’s schools by the 2020 through 2021 school year;
take steps to expand A.E. Phillips’ existing facilities to two classrooms per grade level to accommodate additional black student enrollment;
develop a comprehensive plan to recruit black students for incoming kindergarten classes and for available vacancies in other grade levels;
offer full and partial tuition scholarships to admitted black students who are eligible for free and reduced price student meals under the federal guidelines;
offer free and reduced price meals to admitted black students who meet the federal requirements for assistance; and
take affirmative measures to recruit black candidates for administrator, teacher, certified staff and other staff vacancies at the school.

“We commend the Louisiana Tech community for its firm commitment to make the promise of equal access to education a reality for all children, regardless of the color of their skin,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Our consent order establishes long overdue protections critical to increasing the enrollment of – and support for – black students at A.E. Phillips.”

“All students should have a quality education and should not be barred from any school that provides them that education,” said U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley of the Western District of Louisiana. “This consent order will have an important and lasting impact for all the students in the Lincoln Parish community. The children of Louisiana should always be the focus. We look forward to continuing to work with Louisiana Tech, A.E. Phillips and the state education agencies to ensure that the order is successfully implemented.”

The order dismisses the court’s supervision of the desegregation of A.E. Phillips in the areas of transportation and extracurricular activities. Upon full implementation of the consent order, Louisiana Tech and the state education agencies may seek the court’s approval to dismiss the desegregation case against A.E. Phillips.