|School Board adopts $51 million budget|
The Concordia Parish School Board adopted a record $51 million budget for fiscal year 2008-2009 during its regular meeting Thursday night.
Last year's budget was $48 million.
"Our system is as healthy financially as it has ever been," Business Manager Tom O'Neal told board members.
O'Neal said $1.9 million will be spent this year on the renovation of 28 bathrooms in a project already underway.
"The contracts have been let," he said.
The budget also includes funding for roofing upgrades at a number of schools as well as new air conditioning systems for cafeterias in Ferriday and Vidalia.
Some $400,000 is budgeted for textbook purchases and another $350,000 has been earmarked to purchase five activity buses to carry students to sporting and special events.
The board also rolled back millages for the upcoming year to equate to the same monetary level as last year.
In other business, board member Ricky Raven commended school personnel for work now underway to alleviate long morning lines at schools in Vidalia and Ferriday, resulting in students being tardy for classes. In some cases in Vidalia parents had to leave work and return to school because their children were late due to the long drop-off lines.
"Our goal is to get our students to school in the safest, most efficient manner," said Raven. "We realize that we're having some problems and I think we're doing all we can to correct it."
He said a realignment of bus routes may be needed.
Supt. Loretta Blankenstein said that work is underway to alleviate these problems.
Dr. Brenda Moore, Supervisor of Child Welfare & Attendance, said investigations are underway, including home visits, to insure no Mississippi students are attending schools in Vidalia. Some 60-plus vehicles with Mississippi license plates have been seen parked at schools or dropping off students in Concordia.
Board President Gary Parnham said individuals who are aware of this happening should notify the school system.
In other matters, the board approved the payment of invoice totaling $4,238,644 for August, and okayed the following personnel matters:
Vanessa Sabir, speech therapist, Ferriday Lower Elementary, effective August 8, 2008.
Elise Glatzer, teacher, Ridgecrest School, effective August 22, 2008
Newanna Daniels, Adult Education Teacher, effective September 5. 2008.
Johnie Estes, English teacher, Ferriday Jr. High, effective September 5, 2008.
Billy Joe Ratcliff, bus driver, Monterey, effective September 5, 2008.
Sherry P. White, teacher, Ferriday Jr. High, extended medical leave upon exhaustion of accumulated sick leave effective September 8, 2008, through January 8, 2009.
Christy Bowman, paraprofessional, Ferriday Upper Elementary, effective September 2, 2008, for the 2008-2009 school year.
Edwin White, math teacher, Ferriday High School, effective August 12, 2008.
Glenn Henderson, social studies teacher, Ferriday High School, effective August 8, 2008, for the 2008-2009 school year.
Robbie Cade, English teacher, Ferriday High School, effective August 26, 2008, for the remainder of the 2008-2009 school year.
Stacy Morgan, business teacher, Monterey High School, effective August 25, 2008, for the remainder of the 2008-2009 school year.
Mariah Cooper, teacher, Ridgecrest School, effective September 8, 2008, for the remainder of the 2008-2009 school year.
Reginald Murphy, 4 hr. sweeper, Ridgecrest School, effective September 15, 2008.
Tashanda McKeel, school secretary, Concordia Education Center, effective September 15, 2008.
Valerie Thomas, secretary, Ferriday Jr. High, effective September 15, 2008.
David Piercefield, 2.5 hr. sweeper, Ferriday Jr. High, effective August 8, 2008.