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|School board puts renewal in motion|
The Franklin Parish School Board approved a motion Monday to begin the application process for a special election to be held July 19 for the renewal of a 4.45 mill property tax. The tax raised just under $240,000 in 2007, and is dedicated to operating expenses of the school system.
"This tax has been renewed since 1940, " said Dr. Lanny Johnson, board superintendent, "the only change will be to increase the term from five to 10 years. Rather than renewing three different taxes every five years, we're trying to put some time between the elections to vote on school taxes. "
"We're having this election in July, " said Johnson, "in case it doesn't pass, we'll have time to put it back on the ballot. "
"Elections cost the school system approximately $20,000 each, " said board president Eddie Ray Bryan, "the fewer elections we have, the more money we can save. "
With rising construction costs, planned renovations at Franklin Parish High School have been put on hold.
"As we discovered during the meeting on Friday, the estimate for the work on the high school is a couple of million over budget, " said Johnson. "I spoke with an architect today and we will meet to see which direction we need to go, but obviously we can't afford two million dollars over budget.
Members of the board voted unanimously to update the current Employee Tobacco Use Policy to the state-mandated guidelines. The new policy states: "Smoking, chewing, or otherwise consuming any tobacco or tobacco product in any elementary or secondary school building or in the Franklin Parish School Board building shall be strictly prohibited. Smoking or carrying a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other form of smoking object or device shall be prohibited on the grounds of any elementary or secondary property or any Franklin Parish School Board property. Smoking or the use of any tobacco product shall be prohibited on any school bus exporting children, attending any public elementary or secondary school. "
In the president's report, Eddie Ray Bryan informed the board that the sign for the Horace G. White Learning Center is on order and will be installed in approximately three weeks.
Benton Moore, director of transportation, updated the board on the recent traffic accidents involving school busses.
"In the last 60 days, there have been four accidents involving our school busses, " said Moore. "Fortunately, there were no major injuries. We're certainly concerned and want the public to be aware of the presence of the school busses at all times and obey the state laws concerning flashing amber lights and the stop signs. "
Debbie Lyles, sponsor for the Future Business Leaders of America recognized several club members for placing in the conference during FBLA week.