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School board looks to move meeting dates

September 3, 2012

Starkville School District Superintendent Lewis Holloway says the school board is likely to move its normal monthly meetings in 2013 to the second Tuesday of each month.

The SSD Board of Trustees will discuss the move 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Greensboro Center.

School board meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month at the same time the Starkville Board of Aldermen meets. Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said the city received feedback about a potential move from citizens during a previous board meeting. The city and school board worked together to facilitate such a move.

By pushing the new meeting standard to January, Holloway said board members have ample time to adjust their schedules and adhere to the potential new policy.

“My recollection is … there is agreement in principle from all on the board. It was just a matter of logistically trying to find to have board members all together at the same time,” SSD Board of Trustees President Keith Coble said. “I will say board members that have trouble with their schedules are busy people, but I would also say the good people you want on the board are going to always be busy. We have a couple of members trying to work their doctorates. It’s really challenging for everyone to find a date just because they have to balance (education), work and family.”

Board member Eddie Myles said he hopes the schedule change facilities more interaction between the public and the school district by taking away the conflict created by the two board’s overlapping meetings.
“We try to be as open and as transparent as we can be,” Myles said. “Hopefully this allows our community to become more engaged.”

The school board is also expected to apply for a zero-interest bond for maintenance funding.
During a special school board meeting last month, Holloway said approximately $1.56 million out of $30 million remains available for Mississippi schools through a 15-year Qualified Zone Academy maintenance bond program.

If awarded the bond, the district can use the funds for a number of district construction and maintenance issues, including roof repairs, building upkeep, construction projects and school furnishings.

“We have three buildings which all need new roofs, and each roof could cost about $200,000. Also, there are the issues with (Starkville High School’s) track and football field, and we have 92 air conditioning units that are 26 years or older and three boilers that are 50 years or older,” Holloway said last month. “The district can easily find (maintenance) needs to fund.”

The school board could also approve MAP assessment in grades 4-8 at a cost of $20,250, laptop computer leases for teachers at a cost of $120,000 per year and the lease-purchase of 10 school buses. Trustees will also review 11 payments over $500 from activity accounts which total $18,509.28. The purchases range from travel and lodging costs to external flash drive and band T-shirt purchases.

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