Parish school board approves routine items

Published 2:09 pm Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Washington Parish School Board took care of routine business Thursday night.

Board president Matthew Tate was absent and in his place vice president Alan McCain ran the meeting.

The first two items, including a look at the district’s school performance scores, were tabled until further notice.

Superintendent Darrell Fairburn said the district needs time to get more information.

After that, the board allowed for community comment on a request for early childhood funding, but there was no comment.

Next, the board approved the second allocations to schools for the 2016/2017 operating budget. The allocation came to $45 per pupil for grades elementary and below and $50 per pupil for grades above elementary.

The next item the board approved were restricted allocations for well and waterline repairs for schools that did not have water tie-ins with municipal waterworks.

The board also approved selling several vehicles.

First, Fairburn accepted the highest bid for a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix. The bid was for $1,201 and it came from Linda Holmes.

The next two vehicles were school buses. Fairburn said the district has been trying to sell a 1993 Bluebird bus, but has not gotten any bids on it. The other bus is a 1991 Bluebird bus that Fairburn said does not work.

The board put both buses up for bid. There is no minimum bid.

Next, Fairburn asked the board to approve a purchasing agreement with a Texas purchasing agent to buy school equipment and supplies. The board approved the idea.

Then the board approved an updated parish school board policy that will allow the district to buy more defibrillators for schools.

Finally, the board got an update on a school audit at Thomas Elementary School by Principal Steve Knight.

Knight said an outside auditor gave the school a mostly clean bill of health, though there were nine issues Knight said he’s correcting. Knight said, among other things, he is going to slow down the process of approving requisitions and he also said he should not have given school funds to a family who lost their home to a fire last December.

“The children’s house had just burned and they had no presents and I did divert some funds from our fundraising account,” he said. “We will no longer do that anymore … Rather than spend school funds for something like that we will ask for donations. As far as everything else is concerned on there, we’ll get it taken care of.”

However, Knight also asked the board to have his school audited more frequently.

“This is out of my level of expertise but it would be really good if we could get someone into this school more often,” he said. “Because the last audit we had was 16 years ago.”

The meeting ended shortly after Knight’s update. The next meeting will be Thursday, Dec. 8.