St. John Schools seek voter approval on April 21

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RESERVE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board is asking voters to vote on a proposition on the April 21 election ballot that would allow the school district to borrow $11.6 million to pay for continued capital improvement projects in local schools.

Director of Finance Felix Boughton said the proposition will not increase taxes. He said the proposition will allow the school board to renew an existing bond issue to borrow the money.

“The school district’s tradition of strong financial management and historically low interest rates will allow the school board to borrow these capital improvement funds without asking for additional taxes,” Boughton said.

“The school district simply needs the approval of voters to borrow the money that is needed to invest in our capital improvements plan.”

Superintendent Courtney P. Millet said some of the proposed capital improvement projects to be included in the $11.6 million investment include:

• Security system installations and upgrades

• Technology upgrades

• Purchase of 10 new busses

• Roofing repairs & rehabilitations

• HVAC & electrical replacements and repairs

• Paving and drainage system rehabilitation

• Kitchen equipment repairs and replacements

• Restroom renovations

• ADA and Code compliance upgrades

“Our school system has been working hard to deliver on our promise to the community to provide quality education facilities,” Millet said.

“In 2008, we began a ‘first phase’ of major improvements, which included the construction of two new elementary school buildings, technology and security upgrades and the installation of handicap-accessible playgrounds at each of our elementary schools. This additional funding will allow us to continue our efforts.”

Millet emphasized that the facility improvements have been part of the district’s primary focus to raise academic achievement.  

She noted that St. John School’s District Performance Score has improved more than 20 points in the past 10 years. At the same time, the system has increased opportunities for students to gain more college credits while in high school, and it has decreased the overall dropout rate.

“Our priority in St. John Schools is to advance student learning. We are doing that with improved curriculum and classroom teaching strategies, and we are doing that with improved technology and by creating safer, more appropriate learning environments on our campuses,” she said.

“We’re excited about the progress we’re making, and with continued support from our community, we know we can continue to build a system of excellence,” Millet said.