School Board approves 2019-2020 consolidated budget

School Board approves 2019-2020 consolidated budget

The Natchitoches Parish School Board adopted a consolidated budget of $64,861,141 for 2019-2020 (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW).

The board is is looking at the feasibility of using OpenGov to improve its transparency. It would be an annual subscription fee, based off price and budget tiers by size of the entity. It was stated that on further examination the Lafayette Parish School Board’s “checkbook” website through OpenGov is not very user friendly. Some felt that the School District can make some of these improvements to its transparency on its own by updating its website.

OpenGov is the only integrated budgeting, performance, communications, and reporting solution for the public sector. Its cloud based software allows entities to improve performance outcomes and budgeting efficiencies while enhancing internal and external collaboration and communications. It streamlines and unifies the end-to-end budgeting process, seamlessly ties budget dollars to key organizational initiatives, and draws actionable insights that maximize performance outcomes. It also allows organizations like school boards to connect with the community on the topics that matter.

See estimated pricing below:

$28K / yr for subscription for transparency and management/financial reporting (budget v actuals, fund balances, debt, etc )…we map your chart of accounts and organization structure, integration with financial system. You can use for internal reporting and transparency portal.

B) $35K / yr for Communications and reporting package which includes the above plus performance dashboards and reporting for financial and non-financial data, a stories function for narrative reporting internally and with citizens, and an unlimited open town hall/survey function to solicit feedback from citizens or employees

C) $50k / yr for Full OpenGov Cloud – the above plus Budget Builder with Workforce Planning – personnel forecasting

There would be a one time implementation fee ranging from $12-$50k depending on scope selected scope.

The School Board also adopted a revised travel policy to change milage reimbursements from 44 cents to 50 cents. The revisions will take affect Oct. 1. The revisions also increased the meal structure by increasing reimbursement amounts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to be equivalent to other school districts.

Other agenda items included:

Approve addendums to 2019-2020 Pupil Progression Plan

Adopt the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire for Fortenberry & Ballard

Award bid for athletic improvements to the Softball Field at Fairview Alpha Elementary to Testament Construction Services LLC in the amount of $141,314

Award the bid for a security camera system at Natchitoches Central High School to A&G Computer Services in the amount of $54,720

13 thoughts on “School Board approves 2019-2020 consolidated budget

  1. If you have to hire a company to portray that you are being honest you have serious issues! One, you are admitting that the public has lost respect and has no confidence in the board! Two, it is an admission, on your part, that you have given the public reasons not to trust you! Another dumb ass waste of tax payers money! Money being wasted trying to improve the image of the board instead of improving a failing system!

    • No actually there are way too many facets to the concept of “transparency” that getting a majority of people to agree to what it is is impossible. The only way to get some semblance of “transparency” I suppose is to hire a firm that specializes in such, give them all the info and let them turn it out.

      BTW the SB has regular budget meetings in addition to twice monthly meetings with agendas published in advance. No one is prohibited from attending or speaking to any agenda item so in my mind that’s pretty transparent.

      Like everything else in Natchitoches everyone wants to gripe about something rather than doing the work themselves when the info is already there.

      FWIW, hiring a firm to do this is probably a lot cheaper, with a lot less politics, than hiring someone full time which would include benefits not to mention that hiring qualified people in the first place is next to impossible.

      • Why do we need to hire or contract with anyone? The School Board, the central office, principals, should all be transparent without being prodded. When it comes to spending our money, making decisions that impact students, families, then everything should be on the table, on TOP of the table, not under it, for all to see. Websites, social media, etc are all cheap or no cost ways to provide info to the public.

      • Websites ARE cheap if you don’t pay someone to maintain them. Where did you get this idea silly idea? Perhaps you would like to donate your time maintaining it as well as getting together once a week with the principals, support staff, coaches, spirit team leaders, booster clubs, bookkeepers, etc. to do that.

        Again, define “transparency”, all of the budget info is there. Wanting it at your convenience is NOT transparency.


      • To Victor Laslow

        A NPSB website would come with some cost, but minimal. Better yet would be FREE social media outlets, like Facebook, one for each major category. Like capital spending, for instance. And it would be part of the job description for the people in charge of each area to assure it gets done. This would not be a daily task…at least not what I’m referring to…but on a “as needed” basis.

        You must have some monetary interest in the NPSB hiring that firm.

  2. What’s the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire? Who is Fortenberry and Ballard?

    What addendums to the Pupil Progression Plan?

    I thought there was already a security camera system at NCHS. Ever wonder why this school needs more and more security measures? There are TOO MANY KIDS THERE. The Parish needs at least one other high school or to move 9th (and even 10th graders, too) to a different facility.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: That place is a zoo with the cage doors wide open.

  3. Throwing technology at a problem without spending the time to truly know what your needs and business requirements are is a sure recipe for failure. Taking the time to truly look at your operating model and making clear business decisions regarding what you want/need to track, monitor and control and making every effort to ensure that whatever technology tools you choose are user-friendly to the persons with accountability for managing those business process will get you to a successful outcome every time. There are plenty of foundational business process re-design exercises and operating model root cause analyses that need to occur before you make a software selection. Technology is only an enabler. It is never the solution.

    • Are they hoping to get more parents to access the school websites and keep up with their students’ grades? That’s a problem newer technology can’t fix.

      And just how is a new system supposed to improve transparency? What gets posted on the site is what the poster wants people to read — with her/his spin on it.

      I don’t know about lately, but in the past I’ve tried to get info from the school websites (baseball schedule, I think). Some of them hadn’t been updated in a year. Who’s job is it to update the pages? If those people are falling down on the job, then it’s not a problem with the system. It’s a problem with personnel. And don’t think a teacher should have to do it. They already have far too much to do just to get through a day.

  4. I really don’t like spending that amount of money to hire outside consulting to provide transparency that every member of the board said they would provide as part of the job. How can another layer of red tape provide a clearer picture than the board has been elected to provide.

      • Unbiased? You are paying over 100k to get unbiased oversite? Do you honesly believe any company being paid 100k will risk being unbiased? The board refused a free audit from the Louisiana State Department of Auditors but are willing to pay for UNBIASED transparency?

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