Funding in for pay raises

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Poplarville Special Separate Municipal School District has received funding that will help them cover the state mandated teacher pay raises.

District Director of Finance Samantha Sandifer said she informed the board during Monday’s meeting that they have received increased Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding that will cover the costs of the raises. Additional details of the funding and other budget matters will be covered during the district’s budget hearing set to be held next week.

The board also approved applying for funding from the Consolidated Federal Program that will help fund additional teachers, supplies and professional development for the coming school year, Sandifer said.

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Currently, the district is providing health services at a number of their schools, including two nurses at the lower elementary, one nurse at the upper elementary and a social worker district wide. Sandifer said the board approved a motion to apply for National Health Service Corps designation, which, if approved, would allow the nurses and social worker to receive student loan percentage exemptions each year, Sandifer said. This designation would not incur an additional expense to the district since they already provide those services.

The board also approved an English language learners program that will provide students with the help they need in order to become proficient with speech, Sandifer said.

Sandifer said the board approved the 2014-2015 drop out prevention plan, which provides a graduation coach at the high school to help at-risk students continue their high school education. Sandifer said the coach identifies students who may display aspects that would cause them to drop out, and helps keep them on the track to graduation. In 2012 the district’s graduation rate was 85.8 percent, she said.

The board also took a moment during the meeting to recognize the best student on each bus and the bus driver of the year. Sandifer said the bus driver of the year was Belinda McCarter.

The next board meeting will be June 18 at 5 p.m.