The School board decided to table its vote to close Cloutierville Elementary at its June 7 meeting. The board will hold a Special Called meeting Thursday, June 14 at 5 pm. Postponing their vote will allow the board members to gather and distribute more information on what the closure of Cloutierville will mean for the district.
Board members Ralph Wilson and Emile Metoyer questioned why other schools weren’t being considered for closure, such as Goldonna and the NSU Lab Schools.
Closing Cloutierville will save the district $1.4 million annually. Board Chairman Mike Hilton said members will meet at Cloutierville on Monday morning to do a site inspection.
School enrollment at the end of the 2017-2018 school year was as follows:
East Natchitoches- 260
Fairview Alpha- 303
Natchitoches Central- 1,265
Natchitoches Jr. High- 524
LP Vaughn- 686
NSU ELAB- 290
NSU Middle LAB- 174
MR Weaver- 480
Frankie Ray- 221
Natchitoches Magnet- 348
* The board has been asked to look at the Projected 2018-2019 enrollment numbers and not the END of a school year number. NPSB enrollment has been decreasing each year. SEE CHART BELOW
“The real problem is we’re losing students,” said board member Steven Harris. “I don’t think closing schools is gonna get us where we need to be. I just don’t believe that Cloutierville is the sacrificial lamb that’s supposedly gonna give us what we need.”
Harris said he’s tired of fooling the public by telling them cuts have to be made here and there, getting taxes passed, and then not be able to show them on paper how closing schools will help.
“People need to see we’re serious,” he said. “Some schools don’t have proper staffing and teachers aren’t getting planning periods and that’s important to me. My youngest child has four years left in this system and then I’m off the School Board next time. I’m gone.”
Board member Rhoda Guidroz said the district’s finances are not what they were 10 years ago. Enrollment is continuing to decrease across the board because parents are sending their children across parish lines because they don’t want them to attend schools with failing scores.
“We have to get the grades up,” she said.
Other agenda items included:
Accept bids on the following-
Football field upgrades for Lakeview
Alterations and additions to Goldonna
Processed and frozen foods for 7-1-18 through 12-31-18
Milk and dairy products for 2018-19
Paper/cleaning supplies for child nutrition program for 7-1-18 through 12-31-18
Pay Louisiana Federation of Teachers for payroll errors in the amount of $5,448
Refund Weyerhaeuser $910.50 for a small portion of trees that were unable to be harvested due to an eagle’s nest
Approve site preparation and reforestation of 190 acres recently cut
Approve request to receive reclaimed asphalt from the state highway department that will be transported by the Parish Government
2-year renewal term for workers compensation with Midwest for $92,442
1-year renewal for loss control service for workers compensation with You Risk Control for $9,270
Approve 2017 LA Industrial Tax Exemption Program Application for EMERSON Climate Technologies for Alliance Compressors LLC. For the 2017 Tax Year Alliance paid $947,000 in property tax. Of that, $197,000 came directly to the School Board. This amount doesn’t include the new tax the School Board just passed so it will increase next year. The Exemption would be about $5,500 for the School Board.
Approve a resolution to canvas the returns and declaring the result of the special election held in School District No. 9 on April 28 to authorize the incurring of debt and issuance of bonds therein.
Approve electrical repairs for Natchitoches Jr. High and Frankie Ray Jackson schools
Approve changing the LP Vaughn mascot from “Indians” to “Cubs”