Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish School Board’ Category

“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

Personnel Changes Afoot for Lincoln Schools

04/06/2015

A significant agenda item is up for consideration at the Tuesday, April 7 meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) – a provision for personnel changes in several principal slots and staff positions that are set to occur with the appointment of a new superintendent.

Item 10.1 under new business reads thus:

Timeline to advertise and interview for Principals of Choudrant High, Dubach School, Glen View Elementary, I. A. Lewis, Ruston Elementary, Ruston Junior High, Simsboro Schoo and any other positions that may become vacant due to filling the above.

The “above” referred to is the formal appointment of Chief Academic Officer Mike Milstead as District Superintendent.

The changes are noted in the personnel report as follows:

Choudrant High Principal Lisa Bastion will move to the Chief Academic Officer position.
Doris Lewis will move from Title 1 Facilitator to the newly created position of Human Resources Director.
I. A. Lewis Principal Shavonne Price will become Title 1 Facilitator.
Glenn View Principal Lisa Mangum will move to the new position of Reading Recovery Coach.
Ruston Jr. High Principal Tim Nutt will take over for the retiring Ronny Volentine as Child Welfare and Attendance/Hearing Officer.

See here the complete personnel report.
See here the memo.

The meeting begins at 6:00 PM at the Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

It Has Finally Happened!!

03/30/2015

The unthinkable has finally happened.

Friday, The Ruston Daily Leader printed an opinion piece actually critical of something that a government agency has done. Normally, the RDL is but a cheerleader for government, defending every action and every tax from the sheriff, the school board, the City of Ruston, and so on.

You know way more about the garden at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center than how many taxpayer dollars it takes to operate the facility, if you read the RDL.

Specifically, April Kelly has called into question the wisdom of District Attorney John Belton’s plan to set up speed traps in Lincoln Parish to help collect revenue to operate his office.

In her opinion piece titled “Speed trap or money trap?” Kelly concluded:

It is definitely a cause for concern when issuing tickets becomes more about financial gain than public safety.

See the article here.

Source: Lincoln Superintendent Vote to Come Tonight; Vidrine Out, Milstead Seen as Favorite

03/18/2015

A vote on the new superintendent for the Lincoln Parish School District will likely be held tonight, Lincoln Parish News Online has learned.

Earlier today, Monroe City School Superintendent Brent Vidrine withdrew his application for that job.

That development leaves Lincoln Chief Academic Officer Mike Milstead as the favorite for the job, according to informed speculation.

Lincoln School Superintendent Interviews Next Week

03/14/2015

Special meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board next week – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

See here the agenda with timetable details.

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

Lincoln School Supt Interviews Begin Next Week

03/11/2015

Interviews of the seven applicants for Superintendent of the Lincoln Parish School District (LPSD) will begin early next week, it was decided at last night’s meeting of the district’s board.

On Monday, 3/16, three interviews are set (2 PM, 4 PM, 6:30 PM), with the a public meet and greet an hour prior to the interview session with the full board. Two interviews will be held Tuesday (4 PM, 6:30 PM). Wednesday will see the remaining three interviews (2 PM, 4 PM, 6:30 PM).

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

Retiring Superintendent Danny Bell said a similar timetable format was used when he was appointed about ten years ago.

Said Bell, “We may can make a decision on that Wednesday evening,” after the interviews are completed.

Board President Otha Anders (District 10) said that each of the board members would be “assigned” a question to ask the interviewees.

Said Anders, “For those who’ve never been through, each one of you will assigned a specific question to ask, which you will ask that same question in the same manner to each candidate.”

Earlier in the meeting, Anders also proclaimed that whoever is appointed superintendent will be expected to follow a racial quota for hiring.

Said Anders, “(We’re looking for) one who will go out, find, locate, and encourage, and then BRING minorities into the Lincoln Parish system – MORE minorities.”

In other business, while the board was discussing the 2015-2016 school calendar, the question was asked about the several snow days that had been taken this winter, and whether or not they would have to be made up.

Bell said that the scheduled had six days “built in” for unexpected school closings, and no make-up days would be needed.

It was noted that school will begin in August 2015 about a week later than in August 2014.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tuesday

03/09/2015

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

Here is the agenda.

Among the reports to be heard:

Personnel

Sales taxes for Feb, 2015

Fund balance as of 1/31/15

Among the action items to be considered is the adoption of the 2015 – 2016 school year calendar.


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