School board concerned about bill

Published 2:43 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Picayune School board members expressed concern about a bill introduced in the Mississippi Senate that may hinder each school district’s control over its budget expenses.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the board for the Picayune Separate Municipal School District, board member Ray Scott said he is concerned about the bill, and how it will affect the way the district purchases supplies and manages funds.

Scott said the bill, SB 2972, would negatively affect purchasing, accounting and how the district handles payroll.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Those concerns have prompted Scott to talk to local legislators about the bill, and attempt to gain their support to ensure the bill does not pass, he said. He believes if the bill does pass, then it would take away too much financial control from the district.

Asst. Superintendent Brent Harrell said he is aware of the bill and he also is concerned. He said it appears to be a way to avoid district consolidation, but he believes it will not save any money for any district, but instead will only slow the pace at which the district makes purchases.

One example Harrell cited was purchasing paper for copy machines. He said certain machines require a certain quality of paper and if the incorrect paper is used, it could damage the machine. If the bill were to pass, then the district would no longer have control on what paper is purchased.

Board member Tony Smith concurred that the bill is a concern and asked that a letter be drawn up on the board’s behalf stating its opposition to local legislators and asking for their support in opposing the bill. The board approved.

Earlier in the day the board made its annual tour of the district. Board member Duane Wheat said he believes the district’s new additions, including the cafetorium at South Side Upper and Lower elementary schools and the multipurpose building slated for Nicholson Elementary, will be great additions to the district.

The board approved a motion to accept a donation of food and back packs from the 1st United Methodist Church to help less fortunate children in the district.

The also honored the district’s Teachers of the Year. A teacher from each school was introduced to the board by the principal of the school who told why that teacher is important to the district. Each Teacher of the Year was elected so by fellow teachers.

Nicholson Elementary’s winner was Reneé Hutto, Picayune Junior High’s winner was Lauren Palmisano, Picayune High School’s winner was Maria Passmore, Roseland Park’s winner was Kimberly Balli, South Side Upper’s winner was Patty Jackson, South Side Lower’s winner was Helen Knight and West Side’s winner was Ellen Nail. Palmisano also was named District Teacher of the Year. Each Teacher of the Year will receive an extra $100 to be used to purchase classroom supplies. The district winner will receive $500 for the same purpose.