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Funding still major concern of Copiah school board

Copiah County School Board members were informed at their meeting February 1 that state level funding remains a primary concern of the district and that a special called meeting may be necessary when the legislature completes its budget.

Copiah has already been notified of a five percent reduction though details have not arrived. School sources have warned that an additional 3.1 percent reduction is almost assured which will mean that the Copiah District has lost $1 million since July, 2009. Unless some relief is found, the cuts may be stretched to total ten percent. Superintendent Ricky Clopton told the board that he is just “talking about finishing this school year.”

Clopton has asked  board members, principals and department heads to assist him in seeking “contingency plans.” Copiah is not in arrears yet and is faring better than most districts of its size. It appears that most items beyond personnel have been reduced to basics but personnel costs total 75 to 85 percent of the education budget. Clopton warned that “Next year may be traumatic.”

Information was distributed to board members about their upcoming training and a calendar of school events was available.

A bid on Section 16 2N R2W totaling was awarded at $16.70 per acre.

Transfer of two students to the Lloyd Star school for next year was approved.

New personnel employed are Arkeco Thompson CSMS teacher; Jimmy Lucas CSHS teacher assistant; Glen McInnis CSMS teacher; Felicia Fennell CSMS teacher and Richard Pickett CSES custodian. Jernenko Williams CSHS bus driver was moved to full time.

Resignations and retirements were approved for Sandra Miller, Susan Dunn and Linda Lenard. Request for leave was approved for Patsy Chinn.

Six names were added to the substitute personnel roster.

Following federal guidelines, the travel mileage allowance was reduced to 50c per mile effective January 1.

Travel requests for five district employees and the CSHS Beta Club to state convention. Out of state field trips for the CSHS JROTC to Tuskegee, Alabama and the WAC Second Grade Class to Global Wildlife in Folsom, Louisiana.

School day picture contracts with Bruckner were approved for the 2010-11 at WAC and CSHS.

Receipt of a grant for the ARRA project for tutoring and after school services totaling $787,214 was announced.

School Improvement Plan Assurances were approved for $199,388 for CSMS and $149,476 at CSHS. This provides for Supplemental Service Providers (three vendors selected by parents of students needing these services) at a cost of $1093 per student.

An ERATE telephone, internet and cellular service grant was received totaling $168,931 with the district to pay the remaining $23,651 of these costs.

A bus turnaround repair request on Tarver Lane was approved for action by the supervisors.

The board considered assistance for Antoin Owens to participate in sports training in Puerto Rico provided the letter requesting and spelling out the program is received.

Loans, transfers and claims were received prior to adjournment.

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