Picayune school board adopts budget, long-time PMHS band director retiring

Published 5:11 pm Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The school board for the Picayune Municipal Separate School District adopted its budget for the 2007-2008 school year last night, after district business manager Lisa Penton explained some increases in both income and expenditures.

Revenues rose by $508,338 to $32.3 million and revenues rose by $755,989 to $32.7 million, Penton said. Taxes raised from new construction coming on the tax rolls accounts for most of the revenue increase and salary increases for classified and certified personnel account for most of the increased expenditures, she said.

The board also approved the ad valorem tax resolution to support the budget and debt service resolutions for the three-mill note and the shortfall notes.

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The board approved purchasing five new school buses for $409,160, paying premiums totaling $174,591 to the Thigpen Insurance Agency for general liability, property and errors and omissions insurance policies and paying dues of $250 to the Gulf Coast School Boards Assoc.

In other finance matters, the board approved incoming district Superintendent Dean Shaw’s signature in banking matters, sole source purchase orders, advertising to sell student desks, the cancellation of two 16th section leases and to transfer the balance in some grant accounts to the district maintenance fund.

The other big event for the board was having to approve the retirement of long-time Maroon Tide band director Jerry Cumberland.

“You can’t fill those shoes,” said board member Duane Wheat.

Member Ginny Dodd proposed the school board find an appropriate way to honor Cumberland on his retirement, including possibly a half-time ceremony at a home football game.

“He’s done so much for this district,” Dodd said. “We need to show him some special recognition.”

Cumberland has been in the Picayune district for 27 of his 31 years in education, garnering numerous honors in band contests and other musical events. Among his accomplishments is having been an International Lions Band director a couple of years ago.

The board also voted to make some changes to its meeting times.

The board will continue to meet at 5:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month for its main meeting of the month, but will begin holding its second meeting on the fourth Tuesday of the month at about 12 noon.

The board carried several certified personnel matters and the salary scales into executive session and approved them on coming out of executive session.

In other matters, the school board:

— Approved consent items including out-of-state travel requests, obsolete items and student transfer requests.

— Approved an agreement with the City of Picayune for security services.

— Approved applications for the consolidated federal programs of Titles I, II, IV and V, a COLA funding application for Early Head Start.

— Approved the 2007-2008 IDEIA Part B and preschool budget.

— Approved the elementary and food service handbooks.

— Approved the psychometric fees for 2007-2008.