Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish School Board’ Category

Durrett Aces RHS Performance Scores


RHS Principal Ricky Durrett

In his first year as Ruston High School (RHS) Principal, Ricky Durrett has moved the school up 8 points (92.1 to 100.3) in School Performance Scores, from a “B” to an “A.” He was recognized at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB), and rewarded with a cash incentive for his accomplishment.

Durrett thanked the board for the opportunity to lead RHS, and former Principal Mike Milstead’s groundwork.

Said Durrett, “I want to say thanks to Mr. Milstead for the things he got started there, and we’ve continued today. A big part of that is the students we have and the parents we have that support the school and support the things we’re doing there.”

Durrett noted that he thought the school still had room to grow further.

Chief Academic Officer Lisa Bastion read several testimonials from RHS teachers and staff praising Durrett. Among them:

Kay White, RHS Registrar, “He keeps the students at the forefront of every decision he makes. He is a listener and a problem solver.”

Brad Laird, RHS Football Coach, “The bottom line with Ricky Durrett is he cares about kids. He wants the best for the students academically, athletically, and socially.”

The board also heard from Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney John Belton, who reported on a mentoring program for area students. The program would allow parents of truant students avoid prosecution as long as they are enrolled in the program.

See here the program details.

The board unanimously approved a 50% pay raise for members, from $400/month to $600/month. Notable in the discussion were the board members and staffers who went to great lengths to justify the raises, saying that their current pay was the lowest in the region.

See here the memo and comparisons.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Tuesday, November 3, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

Lincoln Parish School Board Wednesday


Twice yearly, the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) holds a mid-day meeting in an area school, in a addition to the regular first Tuesday monthly meeting. The Wednesday (10/20) meeting will be held at the Dubach School, 7710 Fellowship Rd., Dubach, 12:30 PM.

Here is the agenda.

Pay Raise for Lincoln Parish School Board Members


A fifty percent ($400/month to $600/month) increase in the expense allowance for Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) members is on the agenda for the Tuesday, October 6 meeting of the board. The president receives an additional $100/month. Final action on the matter will be at the 10/21 meeting.

See here the memo.

Preceding the 6 PM meeting of the full board, the Building and Grounds Committee will meet at 5:30 PM.

See here the agendas.

Among the reports to be heard will be personnel actions.

See here the list.

Area School Residency Requirements Not Equally Enforced


While Jackson Parish Schools students must go to school in the district where their parents or guardians reside, it appears that at least one West Monroe HS student’s high profile parents don’t have to follow the law.

See here U. S. District Judge Robert James’ order that directs Jackson Parish students to attend schools in their attendance zones.

Order of Modification

From the document:

Address Verification

a. All students. In addition to completing the Residency Form, students seeking to enroll or to continue enrollment in the District schools for school year 2015-2016, or for the first time at any time thereafter, must provide at least two (2) of the items listed below as verification of the student’s address. The submitted documents must show the location by street address of the residence of the parent, legal guardian, foster care parent, or non-parents (as applicable) where the child maintains his or her primary residence.
• Current valid driver’s license or state ID showing a residential street address (not a post office box)
• Current property tax records
• Current mortgage documents or property deed
• In cases of apartment or home lease, a notarized statement from the property owner/lessor identifying himself/herself as the property owner/lessor, describing the property, and the term of the lease, identifying the lease-holder
• Current rent payment receipt or copy of money order made for payment of rent showing residence address
• Current valid automobile registration showing residence address
• Current telephone or utility bill showing residence address
• Current voter identification card showing residence address
• Notarized affidavit verifying residence (street) address

However, Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney John Belton claims a Lincoln Parish address as his primary residence, but his son John Randall attends West Monroe HS. Both Belton and his wife Alana are registered Lincoln Parish voters.

See here from the LA Secretary of State website:

John F. K. Belton
Alana Gilbert Belton

Belton’s latest financial disclosure statement lists his address as 138 Griffin Road, Ruston. The Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor website confirms property at that location belonging to John and Alana Belton, and that is homestead exempt. See here the documents:

Financial Disclosure (2015)
Lincoln Parish Tax Records (2015)

According to Louisiana’s Election Law, LA RS RS 18:101:

B. For purposes of the laws governing voter registration and voting, “resident” means a citizen who resides in this state and in the parish, municipality, if any, and precinct in which he offers to register and vote, with an intention to reside there indefinitely. If a citizen resides at more than one place in the state with an intention to reside there indefinitely, he may register and vote only at one of the places at which he resides. If a person claims a homestead exemption, pursuant to Article VII, Section 20 of the Constitution of Louisiana, on one of the residences, he shall register and vote in the precinct in which that residence is located, except that a person who resides in a nursing home as defined in R.S. 40:2009.2 or in a veterans’ home operated by the state or federal government may register and vote at the address where the nursing home or veterans’ home is located. For purposes of voter registration and voting, the residence of a married woman shall be determined in the same manner as is required for any other citizen. A citizen of this state shall not be or remain registered or vote in more than one place of residence at any one time.

Lincoln Parish School’s Student Assignment Policy says this:


The School Board shall require verification of residence of those students whose residence is suspected to be outside the attendance zone of the school the student is attending. When investigating the residence of a student, the School Board shall attempt to verify the primary place of residence of the legal parent or legal guardian. Such verification of residence shall be based on such items as the following:

1. Voter registration card of parent or guardian, or
2. Property tax statement of parent or guardian showing homestead exemption, or
3. Certified copy of any judicially ordered tutorship, custody or guardianship of any minor child student not domiciled or in the custody of their natural and/or legal parents. Verification of the physical residency of the legal custodian, tutor/tutrix or non-parent shall also be required, or
4. Any other documentation as may be stipulated by the Board.

Apparently Belton uses a West Monroe address for purposes of school attendance. See here the document:

115 Creole Lane, West Monroe, LA 71291

Ouachita Parish Schools Student Assignment Policy says this:

Each student shall have only one residence (domicile) which is determined to be the place where he/she predominantly sleeps, takes meals, and maintains personal belongings. To establish domicile in the Ouachita Parish School District, a parent or legal custodian must present sufficient information which supports both that the parent, legal custodian, or caregiver is actually domiciled within the Ouachita Parish School Board jurisdictional school boundaries, and confirm that the child under his or her care, custody and/or control is actually domiciled with that parent or legal custodian.

See here the document.

School Board Adopts 2015-2016 Budget


Tuesday’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) saw approval of a $77 million budget for fiscal year 2015-2016, but there was good news and bad news in the discussion.

The good news, said Business Manager George Murphy, is that sales tax collections for August were greater than what he had originally budgeted, and that should that trend continue, he would recommend that a “15th check” again be paid at the end of the school year to employees.

Formerly, two bonus checks have been paid for the past several years. A third bonus check was paid at the end of last school year.

Said Murphy, “We’ve got it budgeted to have a 15th check. But it’s all based on whether the money comes in.”

The bad news is that the medical benefits budget is still in the red. Year to date, the fund has a $1.1 million deficit, and that may require a premium increase, Murphy said.

“So far, we haven’t had to change the premiums, but that may be on the table next,” said Murphy.

Accountability/Testing/School Improvement Coordinator Donna Doss reported on district graduation rates, and said that Ruston High School had a rate of 87%; Simsboro, 95%; Choudrant High, 100%.

Assistant Superintendent Mary Null reported that the district has over 6,400 students enrolled as of August 31.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Tuesday, September 1, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

At 5:30 PM, the Building and Grounds Committee will meet, and at 5:45 PM, the Finance Committee.

See here the agenda.

Next year’s proposed budget will be considered in the finance committee.

See here the memo.

At 6:00 PM, the full board will meet.

Here is the agenda.

Among the reports to be heard is the personnel actions for the month.

See here the report.

LPSB Insurance Guru: Prescription Drug Expenses a Problem


Almost all the deficit problems now being experienced with the Lincoln Parish School District medical/drug benefits plan is a result of the high price of prescription drugs, rather than medical side of the plan, according to Brown & Brown’s David Charpentier, who serves as a consultant for the district.

Charpentier addressed the Finance Committee of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) at last night’s meeting.

Said Charpentier, “The good news is that it’s not really caused by the medical side of the plan. The medical side of the plan is actually, if adjusted for the fluctuation in the number of lives – flat. Relatively flat. The problem is in the prescription side of the plan.” He added, “Just as a general statistic, your prescription plan when benchmarked against your peers is running 50% above what the benchmark is. Whereas your medical plan is running below the benchmark.”

He noted that the cost trend in drugs is upward, and there are more specialty drugs which are generally more expensive than the norm.

Charpentier’s recommendations are in this memo.

The committee and the full board approved the recommendations.

In other business, the board heard from Grambling High Foundation President Gordan Ford, on the status of Grambling Lab School’s application for charter status.

Ford said that the foundation would be operating the schools on behalf of Grambling State University for the 2015-2016 school year, and that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education had conditionally approved that plan.

The schools would become full-fledged charter schools for the 2016-2017 year, Ford said.

Changes Coming for Lincoln Schools Medical/Drug Benefits


The 5:30 PM, Tuesday, August 4 meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) Finance Committee is the meeting you’ll want to attend to learn of impending changes to drug and medical benefits for school personnel.

Among the recommended changes:

Increase the annual RX deductible to $250, applicable to all tiers of prescriptions
Change the member responsibility for Specialty Drugs to 25% of the cost, maximum of $250 per prescription (this is currently a $100 copay).
Change the non-formulary co-pay to $60 (from $50)
Increase the Individual Maximum In Network Out of Pocket to $3,500
Increase the Family In Network Maximum Out of Pocket $10,500

See here the memo.

See here the agenda.

In the 6:00 PM meeting of the full board, personnel actions will be reviewed.

See here the proposed personnel actions.

Here is the agenda.

The meetings will be held at the Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Milstead: Lincoln Schools Free From Fed Oversight Soon


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.


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