LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD Ruston, Louisiana REGULAR SESSION
LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the Lincoln Parish School Board Office, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were Ms. Debbie Abrahm, Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Curtis Dowling, Mr. Danny Hancock, Ms. Mattie Harrison, Mr. Trott Hunt, and Mr. George Mack. Ms. Lynda Henderson, Mr. Eddie Jones, and Mr. Joe Mitcham were absent. President Otha Anders called the meeting to order, and the invocation was given by Mr. Hunt. Ms. Abrahm led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Mr. Anders welcomed board members, staff, members of the media, and other visitors to the meeting. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. McKinney, the Board unanimously voted by roll call to adopt the agenda as amended adding Approval of minutes – Joint Special Session of April 26, 2011, with Lincoln Parish Police Jury, one item of Unfinished Business: Reject bids on Ruston High School field house, and two items of New Business: Permission to enter into a contract with Architect Mike Walpole for the Ruston High agriculture shop and New Tech and Approve the hiring of Brown & Brown Insurance to manage a request for proposals for administrative services for the LPSB Employee Benefit Plan. Upon a motion by Mr. Hancock, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Session held on April 5, 2011, and the Joint Special Session with the Lincoln Parish Policy Jury on April 26, 2011, as distributed. Cathi Cox, Lincoln ACHIEVE Coordinator, was honored to present the Regional High School Student of the Year, Kate Warner. She provided a little background information on the senior from Ruston High and presented her with a plaque in recognition of her selection. Kate thanked the Board and administration and introduced her guest. Otha Anders congratulated Miss Warner on behalf of the superintendent and Board for her many achievements. Voicing her annual request for permission to advertise and accept bids in order to purchase food, paper and kitchen supplies, and equipment for the 11-12 school year was Doris Marzett, Child Nutrition Program Supervisor. Upon a motion by Mr. Mack, seconded by Ms. Harrison, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to advertise and accept the lowest bid meeting specifications on all purchases of food, paper and kitchen supplies, and equipment that meet specifications for the 11-12 school year. The Board served as a Committee of the Whole, and the following Personnel Committee agenda items were considered after being presented by Mary Null, Director of Instruction, Personnel, and Special Programs: Retirement of the following:
Jan Murphy, elementary supervisor at the Central Office, effective July 1, 2011; Gloria Johnson, language arts teacher at Choudrant High, effective May 28, 2011; Jill Tatum, teacher at Hillcrest Elementary, effective May 28, 20ll; Sandra Garner, language arts at Ruston Junior High, effective May 28, 2011; and Linda Leggett, gifted at Simsboro High, effective May 28, 2011. Resignation of the following:
Beverly Bass, secretary at Cypress Springs, effective April 8, 2011; Janice Girouard, occupational therapist at pupil appraisal, effective April 7, 2011; Deborah Robichaux, teacher at Hillcrest Elementary, effective May 30, 2011; and Pat Edington, science teacher at Ruston Junior High, effective May 28, 2011. Leave without pay request from Chris Taylor, math/coach at Ruston High, effective August 15, 2011. Professional sabbatical request from Rachel Gibson, teacher at Cypress Springs, effective August 15, 2011, and through May 25, 2012. Defacto resignation of Johnathan Miller, maintenance at the Central Office, effective March 26, 2011. Retirement of the following school food service personnel: Helen Bennett, manager at Glen View, effective June 30, 2011; Barbara Hawthorne, clerk/technician at Glen View, effective June 30, 2011; and Sandra McCullin, manager/field manager at Ruston Junior High/Central Office, effective August 3, 2011. Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Ms. Abrahm, the Board unanimously voted to accept the personnel recommendations as presented. Sales taxes collected for the period ending April 30, 2011, totaled $1,305,616, George Murphy, Business Manager, reported. This was a 9.78% increase from the same month last year. Year-to-date the collections were up 5.13% which was the approximate amount budgeted. Recoveries through audits for the month were $42,297 which was up 4.9% year-to-date. For the month, $593,462 was collected in the ‘67 and ‘79 fund, and $712,153 was collected in the ‘93 and ‘00 fund. Moving on to the financial statement for March 2011, Mr. Murphy noted most funds were still in the black. The General Fund continued to do well with a $2.5 mill balance year-to-date, although it had dropped from last month. The 5 mill maintenance fund was still in the black. The sales tax funds were about at the level projected for this time of the year. The six ad valorem tax funds were also still in the black. Mr. Murphy ended with a new Financial Report because of the current financial situation. He reiterated that the beginning budget for FYE June 30, 2011, had a $1.7 million deficit, primarily due to an increase in retirement costs. He expects FYE June 30, 2012, to again have a deficit which is also attributable to another increase in retirement costs. Although it is uncertain at this time what the MFP allocation will be, he does not expect an increase that will cover the retirement and expected health insurance increases. In addition, sales tax collections have not increased to the collection levels of the past two years. Due to the likelihood that a deficit budget will be presented two years in a row and the uncertainty as to whether the economy will improve over the next year, the administration is suggesting the elimination of 16 certified positions through attrition. The principals are aware of the financial situation. He emphasized that careful consideration will be taken to ensure that the cuts will be made equitably and without detriment to the education of the students. If the measures listed above are not implemented now, then greater reductions may be necessary in the future. Unless improvement is seen in the financial arena over the next year, it may be necessary to reduce positions again. Charles Owens, Director of Auxiliary Services, distributed pictures of the Choudrant construction and renovation projects. He noted that the foundation of the new two story building at the high school was poured on Saturday. The subterranean plumbing and electrical work has been done and the building is expected to go up shortly. Choudrant Elementary is complete and awaiting the fire marshal’s approval. Occupancy should take place within a week. The Department of Education had issued its allocation of Qualified School Construction Bonds and the Board’s amount was $10,000,000. Mr. Murphy reminded the Board they had previously allocated $3,150,000 to the Ruston High field house. The funds will be used to construct the New Tech addition and the new agriculture building at Ruston High which will require $3,415,000 of the allocation. He asked for approval of the following:
A resolution giving preliminary approval to the issuance of not to exceed Three Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($3,415,000) of Taxable General Obligation Bonds (QSCB), in one or more series, of Ruston School District No. 1 of the Parish of Lincoln, State of Louisiana; providing certain terms of said Bonds; making application to the State Bond Commission for the approval of said Bonds; and providing for other matters in connection therewith. Upon a motion by Mr. Hancock, seconded by Ms. Abrahm, the Board unanimously voted to approve the resolution giving preliminary approval to the issuance of $3,415,000 of General Obligation Bonds. Following a month of study, Mary Null asked Board members to vote on four policy manual revisions proposed at the April meeting. Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to approve revisions to the following policies: Buildings and Grounds Management (EB), Acceptable use Policy for School Computer Systems and the Internet – Faculty and Staff Use (EFA), Employee Tobacco Use (GAMA), and Acceptable Use Policy for School Computer Systems and the Internet – Student use (IFBGA). Ten qualified bids were received for the construction of a field house at Ruston High School. Even the lowest bid from Don M. Barron Contractor, Inc. of $3,408,000 came in well above the budgeted funds and projected cost for the project; therefore, the decision was made to develop and consider alternative site and structural plans which might allow for a re-bid of the project. In order to solicit new, lower bids, Superintendent Bell asked the Board to reject all bids for the Ruston High School field house project. Upon a motion by Mr. Hunt, seconded by Ms. Harrison, the Board unanimously voted to reject bids for the Ruston High School field house project. Mr. Bell called attention to a drawing with the Ruston High field house on a level site which was the old baseball field and practice football field. He communicated that some changes had been made to the plan relative to structural issues; however, it was essentially the same floor plan as was previously presented. Superintendent Bell requested approval for the proposed site change as well as permission to re-advertise for bids. Architect Mike Walpole said he felt good about the revisited plan. He believes approximately $500,000 to $600,000 in site preparation and dirt work costs could be saved by moving the field house to the flat site mentioned by Mr. Bell. Upon a motion by Mr. Hunt, seconded by Ms. Best, the Board unanimously voted to approve the proposed site change for the Ruston High School field house as well as permission to re-advertise for bids for the construction of a new field house. Making her routine, yearly request for permission to distribute letters of continued employment on the last day of school was Mary Null. Upon a motion by Ms. Harrison, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to distribute letters of continued employment for the 11-12 school year. With the April 30, 2011, approval of the voters to proceed with the construction of an agriculture building and the renovation of the old agriculture building for New Tech classrooms, the services of an architect must be secured according to Danny Bell. He recommended Mike Walpole for the job with a cost of 7.08% of the total building cost. He has worked with the Board, staff at Ruston High, and the administration in preparing preliminary documents and cost estimates. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to enter into a contract with Architect Mike Walpole for the construction of an agriculture building and the renovation of the old agriculture building for New Tech classrooms at Ruston High School. Brown & Brown Insurance was recommended for hire as an insurance consultant by George Murphy. He communicated that they have agreed to manage the request for proposals at no additional charge, and they would remain as the broker for the stop loss insurance. Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to approve the hiring of Brown and Brown Insurance to manage a request for proposals for administrative services for the Lincoln Parish School Board Employee Benefit Plan. In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said:
1. He is elated that the tax millage extension in the Ruston School District No. 1 passed. He appreciates the Chamber and the New Tech board for their support. He is looking to forward to what lies ahead;
2. May is an extremely busy month with programs and graduations. He called attention to a schedule of graduation ceremonies that was included in packets;
3. He is considering calling for a joint Building and Grounds and Finance Committee meeting on Monday or Tuesday at noon regarding property for sale in Choudrant. He asked Committee members their preference of days; and
4. The June 7 board meeting will be preceded by a retirement reception in the lobby of the Central Office. After comments from a couple of members, upon a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 6:51 p.m.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary
Otha L. Anders, President
1td: June 10, 2011