Picayune School Board votes not to raise taxes

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Picayune School District’s Board of Trustees heard the goals for the next school year and approved a motion to maintain level funding from the year prior during Tuesday’s meeting.

District Finance Director Lisa Persick asked the Board to approve a motion to request the same level of ad valorem tax funding. That request totaled $9.2 million, which was a decrease of $272,339 from the previous request submitted to the city of Picayune. Persick said that this request will mean there will not be a tax increase for property owners within the Picayune School District.

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The Board approved her request.

Superintendent Dean Shaw presented the Board with the District’s goals for the next school year, starting with providing first year teachers with a mentor. Shaw added that availability of a mentor teacher will not be restricted to first year teachers, but would include any teacher the principal of that school deems as needing the additional help.

As for the District’s average daily attendance, Shaw said that the goal is to increase the average from last year’s 93.2 percent to 95 percent. Any school that can reach the goal of 95 percent will receive an additional $5,000 to be used for school supplies.

To help achieve that goal, School Resource Officer Chad Dorn has been deputized by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, allowing him to serve truancy warrants to parents whose children have 12 or more unexcused absences in a year. Dorn said that last year, he served 70 truancy warrants to parents and still has more to serve. If a parent is served with a truancy warrant, they are not arrested, but rather given a citation with a court date.

Other goals include maintaining the Board’s policy of keeping an 8 percent fund balance, providing a safe environment for students to learn and increasing test scores.

For more on Tuesday’s meeting, see Thursday’s edition of the Item.