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Parish School Board handles finances

A number of budget items and insurance coverage topped the Washington Parish School Board meeting Thursday night.

For the 2014-2015 school year, the board adopted the General Fund Budget of $45,649,000. That is the system’s larges budget and pays for salaries and benefits.

The board adopted the Angie 5-mill tax budget for this school year. The tax pays for Wesley Ray and the old Angie Elementary schools in the area. The budget is $25,600.

A motion to adopt the Special Federal Funds Budget for 2014-2015 was adopted. The budget includes the Carl Perkins Vocational Grant and Adult Education Grant, two of the smaller budgets. The grants totaled $235,844.

The board adopted a resolution authorizing Superintendent Darrell Fairburn to sign the required forms concerning the state’s uninsured/underinsured motor vehicle liability insurance coverage to reflect the school system’s selection or rejection of the coverage. The board opted out of the coverage.

“By opting out of the medical payment option, that saved the school system $11,210 in medical payments,” Director of Finance Beth Keeton said.

The school system put its liability insurance coverage up for bid, and Berkley, as the low bidder, was selected. The system had been covered by LARMA for approximately the last 10 years. Berkley bid $168,000 for liability insurance, while LARMA bid $221,482.

“Berkley had a little better coverage and lower price,” Keeton said.

The board also approved Hancock Bank as its fiscal agency. Hancock Bank bid .40 percent, while Capital One bid .25 percent.

“There’s not a lot of money difference, but every little bit helps,” Keeton said. “Last year, we paid $12,106 in fees to Capital One. With Hancock, we automatically saved $12,000. With Hancock, we pay no fees.”

The board gave the green light to the Temporary Aid for Needy Families budget for the year. The program is for 4-year-old students. The budget that was passed was for $617,238.

The board also adopted the School Food Service budget for 2014-2015. That budget is $3,906,608. The budget pays for lunchroom employees and food. The board also adopted the budget for the School Food Service Summer Feeding program. That budget is $36,540.

School Board members adopted the Improving America’s School Act of 1994 Title 1 and Title II programs for needy students for the current school year. That budget is $2,476,827.

The board accepted a budget of $1,538,617 for the Individuals with Disability Education Act. The program is for special education students.

The board authorized a motion to advertise for bids to sell a Toro Reel Master 3100-D mower at Varnado High School. The minimum bid that will be accepted is $5,000.

Lastly, the board gave the OK to a motion to advertise for sale a bush hog at the old elementary school. The bush hog will go to the highest bidder.