MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS' PLANNING RETREAT

 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

 

Mr. James M. Cline, President of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, scheduled a School Board Members' Planning Retreat for Thursday, March 5, 2009, at 6:00 p.m., at the L'Auberge du Lac Hotel, 777 Avenue L'Auberge, Lake Charles.  This retreat was scheduled in conjunction with the 72nd Annual Louisiana School Boards' Convention being held during the same time.

 

Board members present were Messrs. Frank Aguillard, Chad Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, James M. Cline, Kevin Hotard, Thomas Nelson, Mrs. Debbie Collins, and Mrs. Anita Bergeron.

 

Superintendent Daniel Rawls, Attorney Robert L. Hammonds, Attorney Wesley Shafto, Tammy Oubre, and Koran Addo, Reporter with the Westside Bureau of The Advocate, were also in attendance.

 

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Mr. Frank Aguillard lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America.

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The invocation was offered by Mrs. Debbie Collins.

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Strategy Session.  Superintendent Rawls stressed the importance of informing taxpayers that the 11.96 mill tax to fund maintenance and operations is not a new tax, but instead a renewal of an existing tax that was enacted ten years ago.  Dr. Rawls stated that Pointe Coupee Parish ranks last in the state in amount of tax revenue collected.  Superintendent Rawls stated that he had scheduled meetings with faculty and staff at all of the schools to discuss the tax renewal in detail.  In addition to mailing information to voters, Supt. Rawls  plans to meet with community group.  Dr. Rawls also stated that there are several private donors that have indicated that they would like to make a contribution.

 

Attorney Hammonds reminded Dr. Rawls and members of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board that public money cannot be used to advocate the tax, but it can only be used to provide informational materials.  A separate account should be set-up for private funding (friends of public education).

 

President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus Plan) on February 17, 2009, and the Board discussed the funding opportunities that may be available to the school system.

 

Attorney Wes Shafto, represents the Board in financial matters, and he provided an overview of information regarding the following: Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB), Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB), Build America Bonds (BAB).  Mr. Shafto mentioned that the state could see a tripling of bond money allocated for school repairs and renovations because of the act.  He informed the Board that Louisiana typically allocates such funds on a first-come, first serve basis, and  time is of essence.  The Board was urged to act quickly regarding submission of plans to the Louisiana State Department of Education to receive a share of "stimulus" funding in the form of low-interest loans.

 

Mr. Joshua Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, mentioned various ways in which bond money could benefit the system.  Mr. Donald Fuselier, Maintenance Director, provided information regarding estimated costs for re-roofing, air conditioning, wiring, flooring, etc. for Upper Pointe Coupee, Rosenwald, Rougon, Livonia and Valverda.  He also provided a chart of buildings in immediate need of re-roofing by priority.  Board members were also given another copy of the Pointe Coupee Parish Schools Existing Conditions Survey Report of 2006, prepared by Mougeot Architecture and revised on April 10, 2007. The estimated costs could range from $997,00 for new shingled roofs or approximately $1,080,000 for metal roofing.

 

Superintendent Rawls stated that during his administration, educationally speaking, all of the schools have been accredited by SACS; Rosenwald Elementary's status is conditional.  Dr. Rawls mentioned that application was made to obtain the Head Start Grant, and hopefully the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board will be awarded the grant.  The District's test scores are up four years in a row.  The District has had four unqualified audits (in accounting terms-the best that you can get!).  A four-year old program was implemented as well as dual credit courses, virtual learning, numeracy & literacy coaches.

 

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Adoption of a Resolution.  

                                                                    RESOLUTION       

 

WHEREAS, State Superintendent Paul Pastorek has proposed a legislative package that attacks the basis of local control by local school boards to the State, and

 

WHEREAS, school board members are elected by the citizens to represent all facets of the respective communities, with this being designed as part of the checks and balances necessary to sustain our democracy, and

 

WHEREAS, the proposed legislation suggests that the public, whose children are entrusted to public schools as mandated by the Constitution, have a right to an excellent education for their children, and

 

WHEREAS, ninety-three percent of all local superintendents across America, reported to the American Association of School Administrators that they have strong relations with their school boards, and

 

WHEREAS, in the vast majority of cases those relationships recognize the proper connection between executive and governing policy maker, and unlike the suggestions of the State Superintendent respect the need for a strong local voice in education policy, and

 

WHEREAS, such changes as are recommended by Superintendent Pastorek constitute a consolidation of authority that deprives local people of a role in determining the policies governing their local schools, and

 

WHEREAS, there is evidence that there are gains by Louisiana students, under the guidance of local school boards, that the Superintendent himself sites as being promising, it appears as if there is a total lack of meaningful information with to justify such proposals, and

 

WHEREAS, various local school boards across Louisiana have enacted resolutions exhorting opposition to the proposed invasion of local governing rights and responsibilities,

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that members of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board by virtue of this resolution do oppose and reject any recommendations by the State Superintendent of Education, or any other agency, to change or diminish the rights, duties, and responsibilities of local school boards to manage the educational process of the children they represent, and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be included in the official minutes of this Board, with a copy sent to Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Governor of Louisiana, the State Superintendent of Education, and local legislative delegation.

 

The above resolution was offered by Mr. Frank Aguillard and seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, and having been submitted to a vote, the vote thereon was as follows: 

 

YEAS:              Chad Aguillard, Frank R. Aguillard, Jr. Brandon Bergeron, James M. Cline, Debbie Collins, Kevin Hotard, Anita LeJeune and Thomas Nelson

 

NAYS:              None

 

ABSENT:          None

 

And the resolution was declared adopted on this 5th day of March 2009.

 

ATTEST:                                              

                                                                         

James M. Cline, President

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

                                                                         

Daniel R. Rawls, Ph.D., Superintendent

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

                           

 

                                                        CERTIFICATE

 

I, Daniel Rawls, Superintendent/Secretary-Treasurer of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, do hereby certify that the above is a true and correct copy of a resolution adopted  by the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board on March 5, 2009.

 

                                                              

  DANIEL R. RAWLS

  Secretary/Treasurer

 

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Adjournment.  On a motion by Mr. Chad Aguillard, seconded by Kevin Hotard, the meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

                                                                         

James M. Cline, President

                                                                         

Daniel R. Rawls, Ph.D., Superintendent

Secretary-Treasurer