School Board tables vote on closing Cloutierville, Special Called meeting will be held June 14

NPSB 06-07-2018 (1)


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
Goldonna- 207
Marthaville- 282
Natchitoches Central- 1,265
Natchitoches Jr. High- 524
LP Vaughn- 686
NSU Middle LAB- 174
Provencal- 449
MR Weaver- 480
Cloutierville- 235
Lakeview- 435
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”




10 thoughts on “School Board tables vote on closing Cloutierville, Special Called meeting will be held June 14

  1. As far as saving money and school closures, what about the Lab schools. How much of the tuition money does the School Board get from the schools? The Labs have less students than any school. How much would be saved if Northwestern paid their salaries. If the Lab charges $1800 per student and the School Board doesn’t get any of this but still pays the salaries, please explain this. Bookkeeping 101!!!

  2. Thank you Mr. Hilton for a refresher course in Bookkeeping 101 about a balanced budget. But for those who didn’t take Accounting, which by the way I did at Northwestern, even though you have a deficit, you still have to show it. I was on the Committee last year and I still have the paperwork. This was not something that was just put out there it was a fact. We suggested that the School Board get a Legislative Audit but you never would. Why ask for our suggestions if you weren’t going to do any of them. If there was not such a deficit, why push so hard for a tax increase. And by the way,. I am a regular at the meetings and even when it was voted on I questioned it then. I’m sure you know who I am because I’m there when no one else is. I miss very few, so don’t try to insult my intelligence by saying if I had been at the meeting I would have known. As far as trying to please the majority and not the few, I think it is the other way around.

  3. Oh, by the way, closing Cloutierville is going to save 1.4 million dollars but you are going to spend that amount doing repairs at Goldonna. Just something to think about.

  4. Board Chairman Mike Hilton stated that the School Board has a balanced budget. Please explain how you go from having a $5 million dollar deficit last year to having a balanced budget now. We need y’all in Baton Rouge and Washington!!

    • The potential deficit for this past year was at one point projected to be $5M it was never that number (although many loved to talk up that as of it was true) and actually came in much lower. The budget was balanced by normal personnel attrition and other actions. Remember 85% of our budget is salaries and benefits for our employees and even a modest reduction in personnel makes a big difference. The budget for the upcoming school year is balanced as required by law. By the way all of this was discussed at many of our public meetings and voted on by a majority of SB members but appatently you missed it. To the current situation it would be irresponsible to ignore a savings of $1.4 million in light of the decreasing enrollment, relatively flat revenue and money from the state. This can has been kicked down the road for too long and if we don’t start making these changes it will only get worse. Thanks for your comments.

      • To your point about going to Baton Rouge and Washington DC to balance those budgets, there would be even more people angered by those of us willing to make the hard decisions that benefit the majority even when it’s at the expense of a few. In spite of a balanced budget we’ve reached the point where the numbers don’t work for Cloutierville.

  5. Yes spend $1.4 million to keep a school open for 100 students in 9 grades. Wise use of tax money. Great reason to be on the Map.

  6. Close Natchitoches and bus the kids out into the parish. See how they like their children having to get on and off a bus in the dark. I voted for your tax because I was told it would fix the problem. Guess it was just another lie.

  7. picking up steam now people,we made the news on KSLA and KTBS.
    GO NATCHITOCHES !! goint to put Cloutierville on the map.

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