E-Rate is a federal program that assists with funding technology improvements for educational purposes. The cost of upgrading schools in Evangeline Parish, according to the parish’s own estimates, would reach approximately $2 million, making the successful funding from E-Rate a very important matter. Parish schools, both elementary and high schools, will require extensive rewiring to prepare for the upgrades, which will need to be in place in approximately two years time.
In other business, the board:
•Changed its meeting dates for April due to the Easter holiday schedule. The board agreed to meet only once in April, on April 17. In addition, the board members were reminded that the committee meetings next month (March), would be held on Thursday, March 7, instead of the regularly scheduled Wednesday night meeting on March 6.
•Learned that Superintendent Toni Hamlin appointed Arlene Richard as the new interim special education director for the parish and Roxanne West as the new interim supervisor of special education services.
•Approved the purchase of 250 graphing calculators from Quill, the low bidder, at a cost of $102.99 per unit. The total cost of the calculators is $25,747.50. Hamlin said the school district is required to provide these calculators for ACT testing of juniors and seniors throughout the parish.
•Approved the low bid of $5,781.19 from Perm-Bound for library books for the current school year.
•Approved paying First Student $244,702.48 for transportation services for the month of January. These services are paid for with money from the general fund.
•Approved the payment of $10,000 (an annual fee) to the Evangeline Parish District Attorney’s Office for providing legal counsel to the board throughout the year.