Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish School Board’ Category

Area Schools Closed Due to Rain, Flooding


The following Lincoln Parish schools have announced their closings due to excessive flooding and road closures as of 0500 hours March 9, 2016.

Lincoln Parish Public Schools
Cedar Creek School
Bethel Christian School
Bethel Christian Daycare
AE Phillips Lab School
New Living Word Ministries School
Grambling State University
Louisiana Tech University
Ruston Montessori School

Kip Franklin, Director
Lincoln Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
161 Road Camp Road, P.O. Box 979
Ruston, La. 71273
Office phone – 318-251-6454
Cell phone – 318-607-8311
Fax number – 318-513-6209

RHS Construction Bids Approved


$2 1/2 million in new construction at Ruston High School (RHS) was approved at last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB).

Traxler Construction was the low bidder at $2.54 million for construction of a pep squad practice facility and a freshman locker room addition to the Jimmy “Chick” Childress Field House. The bid was significantly greater than the $1.92 million originally budgeted.

See here the memo.

However, according to Building & Grounds Committee Chair Trott Hunt (Dist 7), there is sufficient contingency funding in the overall construction budget to cover the overage, and then some.

Said Hunt, “When you look at the total program, we’re still over $300 thousand left in our contingency, and I think there’s right at a million five left to bid, per our original budget.”

The board also approved the advertising for bids for New Tech classrooms, soccer facilities, gym floor, and auditorium roof at RHS. The 2016-2017 school calendar was adopted (pg 9).

George Murphy’s report on February sales tax collections revealed a significant slowdown in collections over the past several months. Likely, the cause is a decline in gas drilling in Lincoln Parish since peaking in late 2014.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Tuesday, March 1, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

It’s for the Children, 2.o


After our report last month comparing costs at Lincoln Parish schools vs Cedar Creek, we decided to delve further into where the money goes in the local public school system.

According to figures from the latest audit, about half the employees are classroom teachers.

From page 179, the report claims the teaching staff to be 475.

See here the document.

From page 176, the total number of employees is reported to be 963, as of mid-2015.

See here the document.

See here the complete audit.

The latest employment numbers from the school board are reported thus:

592 Full Time Certified
1 Part Time Certified
247 Full Time Non-Certified

147 Part Time non –certified (time sheets)
5 Part Time certified (time sheets)

118 sub teachers (some certified, some non-certified)

Auditor Warns Again on School Board Retirement Shortfall


A year after warning the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) that it wasn’t funding employee retirement and health care programs sufficiently, Allen, Green & Williamson’s Amy Tynes was back again this year with similar warnings.

Tyne presented the annual audit at yesterday’s meeting of the board at Glen View Elementary.

Said Tynes, “The total liabilities were $208 million. And you’ll notice if you compare this to last year, its around an $89 million increase. The past several years, we’ve had to record a liability on the books for that health care part of that promise. This year, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board came back and said we want to see what the dollar amount for the pension part that you’re promising your individuals, and that hit full force this year.”

She added, “For 2015, $54.8 million, that is how much on the books for your health care portion.”

Tynes said that the problem wasn’t isolated to Lincoln Parish, and that all the school districts in the state were not funding the programs nearly enough.

As far as daily operations, the Lincoln District audit had no findings, and showed the system to be in good financial shape.

In other reports, Business Manager Georg Murphy reported that the January Sales Tax collections are still greater than last year’s.

However, we noticed the increases are beginning to slow down, likely a result of the slowdown in the oil & gas activity in the area.

Murphy also said that the year was “horrible” for the health care insurance fund, but that recent increases in the deductible and copay rates hopefully would stem the red ink.

It’s for the Children, Isn’t it?


More taxes, of every sort, local and state. Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker wants to raise sales taxes to pay mostly for a new recreation complex on South Farmerville. Our new Governor Edwards says you all have to sacrifice more for sales and income taxes to pay for the tens of thousands of state employees, their retirement, and their medical benefits.

But is the money now going to government efficiently used?

We decided to take a close look at what the costs are to educate children in Lincoln Parish Schools, compared to the cost of educating children at one of the premier private schools in North Louisiana, Cedar Creek.

According to the latest audit for Lincoln School District, the 2014 cost per pupil is $13,603, almost double the cost of 2005. Notice also that there were 20 fewer teachers in 2014 than in 2005.

See here the document.

See here the complete audit.

Compare those costs with the tuition costs at Cedar Creek of $6,290/yr or $6,570/yr, depending on grade level. Additional costs are a $650/yr student fee for books and supplies.

See here the document.

So where does the money go? It’s for the children, isn’t it?

RHS Swim Team Recognized @ Lincoln Parish School Board

Front L/R - Nathan Hegab, Jackson Boersma, Head Coach Paulette Butterfield, Blake Rhymes, Ethan Brady, Noah Ruff, Cameron Roberts, Assistant Coach Lacy Waskom Back - Joseph Ham, Robert Kyle, Drew Campbell, John Higgenbotham, Ethan Purifoy

Front L/R – Nathan Hegab, Jackson Boersma, Head Coach Paulette Butterfield, Blake Rhymes, Ethan Brady, Noah Ruff, Cameron Roberts, Assistant Coach Lacy Waskom
Back – Joseph Ham, Robert Kyle, Drew Campbell, John Higgenbotham, Ethan Purifoy, (not shown, Michael Bishop)

It was an overflow crowd at last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB). The room was filled with members of the Ruston High School (RHS) Swim Team and their families. The team most recently captured the Overall Team Title at the Division II High School Swimming Championship last November 22 in Sulphur.

See here the write-up in Swimming World Magazine.

Former Ruston Junior High School Principal Tim Nutt noted that the team had won four consecutive state championships.

RHS Principal Ricky Durrett said, “When you mention Ruston Swimming, everybody listens. They are respected all over the state.” He added, “These young men are all excellent students. They not only put the time in the pool, they put the time in the classroom.”

The crowd got to see some history of a sort, in that the board for the first time in eleven years elected a new President.

Joe Mitcham (District 6), who had formerly served as Vice-President, was unanimously elected President. Also elected unanimously was new Vice-President Lynda Henderson (District 9).

Outgoing President Otha Anders (District 10) distributed a prepared statement to the board.

Wrote Anders, “As now Past President, I thank everyone for the trust given me to have led in a humble and respectful manner during this exceptional period of time in our educational history.”

Accountability Coordinator Donna Doss reported good news for School Performance Scores for the year.

District-wide, scores improved to 95.5 from 94.3. The district ranks third in North Louisiana, and number 17 statewide.

Two schools, Ruston High and Choudrant High, are “A” ranked schools.

See here the memo.

Business Manager George Murphy reported that sales tax collections for December, 2015 were about 11 1/2% greater than the same period last year.

See here the report.

Million Dollar Pep Squad Building @ RHS to Bid


A “spirit building” for the Ruston High School (RHS) cheerleaders, pep squad, and other similar groups to use in training will be let for bid at the Monday, 1/4, meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB). Also, a freshman locker room addition for the field house is set to bid.

See here the memo.

According to earlier capital expenditure budgets, the spirit building is expected to cost about $930 thousand, and the locker room addition is budgeted at $1 million.

The meeting is set for 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

LPSB Construction Projects Proceeding as Planned


Several Lincoln Parish school construction projects are proceeding mostly as planned, Construction Manager James Payton told last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB).

He said that repairs to the new Choudrant High School track were underway. With the recent wet weather, some settling had occurred under culverts.

Said Payton, “Repairs have been made to the four areas where the track was breached. The asphalt has not been put back yet,” he added.

Architect Mike Walpole reported that the baseball complex at Ruston Junior High was almost complete.

Business manager George Murphy reported that November sales taxes were down about $300 thousand compared to the same month last year, but that year to date, collections were $2.7 million more than last year.

See here the document.

Murphy said that changes to the health care plan would begin January 1, and should help the plan’s deficit.

Superintendent Mike Milstead reported that he had instituted a monthly leadership training meeting with principals, and were doing a book study on “The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make.” He said similar training sessions with new teachers and aspiring principals were also underway.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Tuesday, December 1, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.