St. John schools funding up for vote May 3

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 22, 2014

By Monique Roth

RESERVE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board met Thursday night and approved calling a special election on May 3 for parish voters to decide on renewing two existing taxes and to determine whether or not the school district will be approved to borrow $10 million to assist with repairs to hurricane-damaged Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School.

Felix Boughton, director of finance and business for the school district, said there would be no raising of the two taxes proposed and the votes would simply be to renew current rates.

One of the existing taxes on the ballot would authorize a 10-year renewal of a 4.33 mill property tax, which generates about $2 million a year.

The other tax vote would authorize the renewal and rededication of a quarter-cent sales tax that is used for teachers’ benefits and salaries. Proposed rewording would allow the district’s non-certi   fied employees to receive any excess from the tax. Boughton said he didn’t know how much non-certified employees would receive if the rededicated tax were to pass.

In other news, Russell Jack proposed paving the road on the west side of West St. John High School. Boughton reported the total cost of the paving would be $89,300. The board unanimously voted to pave it.

Rodney Nicholas re quested approval   of a resolution recognizing February as Black History Month. He read the resolution that included the names of several prominent St. John Parish African Americans of the past and present, including NFL players Terry Robyske and Louis Lips, educators Emily C. Watkins and Leroy Keller, and musicians Kid Ory and Kid Thomas Valentine. The resolution was unanimously passed.

The next School Board meeting is scheduled for March 20. At that meeting, Keith Jones and Rodney Nicholas requested that bus safety and transportation issues, included the district’s aging bus fleet, be discussed.