Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish School Board’ Category

Despite Money Woes, LPSB Gives Supt $10K/Yr Raise

03/08/2017

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.

The Board’s Executive Committee – Lynda Henderson, District 9; Curtis Dowling, District 3; Danny Hancock, District 5 – recommended the raise.

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.”

Lincoln Parish School Board Meets Tuesday

03/06/2017

The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Tuesday, March 7, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

Notable retirements announced include Assistant Superintendent Mary Null and Testing/Accountability Coordinator Donna Doss. Both are set to retire effective 6/30/17.

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