The Beauregard Parish School Board met in regular session Thursday, July 12, 2018, at 6:00 pm in the Central Office Board Room. David Vidrine, Darrin Manuel, Ray Bowman, Kathy Bruner, L. D. Spears, Wesley Taylor, Timothy Hudson, Don Gray, and Student Representative Maili Bartz were present. Cassie Henry and Martha Jackson were absent.
Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent, was present and acted as secretary.
The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were led by Pam March.
David Vidrine stated that if all board members had received the agenda, he would entertain a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Darrin Manuel offered a motion, which was seconded by L. D. Spears, to adopt the agenda as presented. The motion was passed upon voting.
The first item on the agenda was for board members to consider adopting the minutes of the June 5, 2018, special meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal. Darrin Manuel offered a motion to adopt the minutes as published in the official journal, which was seconded by Wesley Taylor. Upon voting, board members adopted the minutes of the June 5, 2018, special meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal.
Next, board members considered whether to adopt the minutes of the June 14, 2018, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board. Upon motion of Timothy Hudson, seconded by Wesley Taylor, board members adopted the minutes of the June 14, 2018, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal. Don Gray, Kathy Bruner, and Ray Bowman stated that they wished to abstain.
The Superintendent’s Report started with a report from Student Representative Maili Bartz. Ms. Bartz stated that summer was in full swing, with student athletes beginning to train for the upcoming season and others participating in more academic endeavors, such as the AHEC program (which allows students to “shadow” health care providers, giving them some insight into future career choices.)
Superintendent Cooley continued by advising board members that Kace Marcantel has transferred to South Beauregard High School as an assistant principal. Sonya Greene will fill the assistant principal vacancy at East Beauregard High School, created by Mr. Marcantel’s transfer. Debbie Dixon has been selected to fill the principal vacancy at Pine Wood Elementary created by Theresa Harlow’s departure.
Board members were reminded that qualifying dates for fall elections would be July 18-20, 2018. Four-day schools will be in session for staff development on August 1, 2018, with students returning on August 2. Five-day schools begin staff development on August 8, 2018, with students’ first day on August 14. Mr. Cooley advised board members that professional development has been taking place, locally and around the state, and that workshops and training opportunities would continue as preparations are made for the 2018-2019 school year. Mr. Cooley shared that LEAP scores had been released and that these would be discussed at the August board meeting, as would various other test results, such as Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
The next agenda item was “To consider and take action with respect to a resolution concerning millages.” Lesia Casanovas explained that there were no changes suggested for any of the millage rates for 2018, and recommended that the board adopt the rates as presented. After hearing the resolution read aloud, board members voted to adopt the following resolution:
BE IT RESOLVED, that the following millage(s) are hereby levied on the 2018 tax roll on all property subject to taxation by the Beauregard Parish School board:
Constitution Tax 5.13 mills
Parishwide Maintaining and Operating 9.27 mills
Parishwide Maintaining and Operating 22.56 mills
Parishwide Bond Principal & Interest 17.80 mills `
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the proper administrative officials of the Parish of Beauregard, State of Louisiana, be and they are hereby empowered, authorized, and directed to spread said taxes, as hereinabove set forth, upon the assessment roll of said Parish for the year 2018, and to make the collection of the taxes imposed for and on behalf of the taxing authority, according to law, and that the taxes herein levied shall become a permanent lien and privilege on all property subject to taxation as herein set forth, and collection thereof shall be enforceable in the manner provided by law.
The foregoing resolution was read in full, the roll was called on the adoption thereof, and the resolution was adopted by the following votes:
YEAS:David Vidrine, Darrin Manuel, Ray Bowman, Kathy Bruner, Timothy Hudson, L. D. Spears,
Wesley Taylor, Don Gray
ABSENT: Cassie Henry, Martha Jackson
Following action on the 2018 millage rates, board members were asked to consider approval of a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between BPSB and the Beauregard Parish Assessor. Brent Rutherford, Beauregard Parish Assessor explained to board members that the agreement would allow Assessure Systems, Inc. to audit the Homestead Exemption records and identify those properties which may be wrongfully receiving the Homestead Exemption, which should result in additional revenues for the parish taxing bodies. Board members learned that property which is pending succession or has other mitigating circumstances will not be flagged as being in violation. Others (such as military families who buy a house and claim the Homestead Exemption, but later move and choose to rent the house, without changing the Homestead Exemption status), will receive a courtesy letter advising them of the violation, before additional action will be considered. Mr. Rutherford advised board members that the service would be at no cost to the board, since the percentage due Assessure Systems, Inc. would be withheld from any proceeds collected. Board members expressed concern about the types of information that would be released to Assessure, and Mr. Rutherford assured them that only information that was publicly available would be accessible. In response to an inquiry about how far back the records will be examined, Mr. Rutherford explained that he was seeking to audit just 2017 and 2018, but that Louisiana law allowed such investigations to look at records for the past three years. There was some additional discussion about how the taxing body would receive payment for any back taxes collected. Mr. Rutherford assured board members that attorneys had reviewed the agreement and expressed optimism about the potential for collecting additional taxes. Upon motion of Kathy Bruner, seconded Don Gray, board members approved the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between BPSB and the Beauregard Parish Assessor by a margin of 7-1 (Vidrine).
The next agenda item was for board members to consider adopting the FYE 2019 budget, after having completed all requirements under LA R.S. 38:1305, including public notice, public inspection, public hearing, and general summary. Lesia Casanovas recommended adopting the budget, which was presented at the June 14 board meeting. In response to a question about whether more was being spent than was being received, Ms. Casanovas acknowledged that this was indeed the case, but that this was partially because some of what was being spent was bond money, received in a prior fiscal year. Board members heard a comparative summary of each of the major funds and shared that although more was being spent than taken in, this amount was less than in prior years, and heading in the right direction. In response to a question, Ms. Casanovas explained how the 5% contingency fund was calculated. Board members learned that a grant might enable additional buses to be purchased, and should this be the case, it would be presented in a budget revision. A question was asked about whether buses could be purchased using ad valorem funds, and Ms. Casanovas noted that one proposition was limited to operations and maintenance of the schools, including library books, textbooks, and instructional aids, but the other had no such limiting designation. On the ad valorem funds that could possibly be used for bus purchases, Ms. Casanovas stated that to do so would require board action and could be addressed in a budget revision. Don Gray offered a motion to adopt the budget as presented. Kathy Bruner seconded the motion and board members voted to adopt the budget as presented.
Next board members heard one recommendation from the Finance Committee, a motion to authorize the liquidation of fixed assets. There being no additional discussion, upon voting, board members voted in favor of authorizing the liquidation of fixed assets.
The next agenda item was for board members to hear two recommendations from the Policy Committee. The first recommendation was a motion to approve revision of policy File:BC, School Board Meetings with final adoption in August 2018, after completion of the waiting period, and deletion of policy File:BCBFA, Quorum, which was approved without additional discussion upon voting. The final recommendation from the Policy Committee was a motion to approve revision of policy File:JCAB, Interrogations and Searches, with final adoption in August 2018, after completion of the waiting period. James Herrington shared that, as requested by board members during the Policy Committee meeting, he had consulted with the board’s legal counsel. Mr. Herrington advised board members that Mr. Lestage had made a couple of suggestions, including to preserve the phrase which had been marked for removal and to strike through a small amount of additional text, ending the paragraph with, “Students shall not have an expectation of privacy in these areas.” After additional discussion, Ray Bowman offered a motion to return policy File:JCAB, Interrogations and Searches, to the Policy Committee to further discuss the recommendations of the board’s legal counsel. The motion was seconded by Darrin Manuel and approved upon voting.
The final agenda item was to consider final adoption of new policy File:FDC, Naming of Facilities, after completion of the waiting period. Upon motion of Ray Bowman, seconded by Kathy Bruner, board members approved final adoption of new policy File:FDC, Naming of Facilities, after completion of the waiting period.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.