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Board of Education reviews grants, funding

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
The Escambia County (Ala.) Board of Education reviewed grants and federal funding recently secured by the school system at Thursday's meeting.
The funds total more than $3 million, but Superintendent Buck Powell was quick to point out that not all of this money is received by the school system, and more than $1 million in federal funds was approved in the 2000-2001 budget.
The Cops Grant is an example of a grant that benefits the schools but the money does not go to the school system. This grant pays for the services of resource officers in the schools, but the school system does not get the revenue or pay the expenses.
Powell also noted that grants are not affected by proration nor do they affect proration.
Business Manager Julie Madden presented a financial report to the board, indicating that the system's fund balance is holding steady from beginning of the fiscal year.
Three capital projects are impacting the fund balance.
final payment on Flomaton High School gym;
final payment on W.S. Neal Middle School;
the amount of the bond repayment that has be repaid out of local funds. Bond issue was for the new Escambia County Middle School and W.S. Neal Middle School.
The fund balance will be reduced by about $346,000 due to payment of capital projects this year. The adjusted fund balance will be reduced to about $4.3 million.
In other business, the board
considered a board policy regarding supplements to three secretaries at Escambia County High School. The school board is required to pay a base salary for all secretaries in the system. The principal of each school has the option of paying secretaries more than the base pay, but it is up to the school to pay the difference.
For two years, ECHS has not had the money to supplement the secretaries' salaries and has looked to the board for help.
The policy under consideration will dictate that the school will be responsible for supplementing secretaries' salaries, and the money will not come out of school board funds.
Each school secretary in the county was notified in writing of the pending change, however, they were advised by the Alabama Education Association (AEA) not to sign the notification. Some signed and some didn't.
Powell recommended that the board adopt this policy stating that the board would pay only the portion the board is responsible for and the school will be responsible for the difference.
The board so voted and the policy will lay on the table for 30 days.
considered a policy on homework. The policy spells out the responsibilities of the school system, the principal, teachers, parents and students regarding homework.
voted to waive any or all of the repayment of interest that would have accrued on the salary adjustment granted to a teacher as a result of his or her written application of intent to retire should that teacher fail to retire as provided in his or her written application.
voted to allow Pollard-McCall Junior High School to open a new depository account at First Progressive Bank with proceeds from a private foundation.
Powell explained that Pollard-McCall has received a $50,000 donation from an unidentified source who asked that a portion of the funds be used for specific items.
awarded the bid for the purchase of computers, laptops and printers to Southern Computer in Atmore. Technology Coordinator Jerry Weeks said the company offers a five-year on-site warranty,
reinstated sick leave for Betty White, lunchroom manager at A.C. Moore Elementary, for six days Jan. 29-Feb. 5, due to an on-the-job injury.
Board member Danny Benjamin suggested the board look at the safety program for lunchroom personnel. Powell said safety meetings are held twice a year.
voted to deed to the City of East Brewton the 17.9 acres between Brandenburg Street and Dailey Street, which lies north of the W.S. Neal School campus. In exchange, the city takes responsibility for the maintenance and liability of the property including the holding pond.
Following an executive session of almost an hour and a half, the board voted to expel an unnamed student at Escambia County Middle School. The student will be placed in the alternative school for the remainder of this year. The board also voted to expel a Flomaton High School student for one year from the date of the board vote.
The next school board meeting was set for March 15, 4:30 p.m., in Brewton.