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Warren Easton charter board meets with parents in executive sessions over ‘student issues’

Warren Easton Charter High School’s board of directors met with students and parents for two executive sessions that lasted for a total of an hour-and-a-half at Wednesday’s monthly meeting.

The board “received requests from two sets of parents who had some concerns about their children,” board president David Garland said after the board returned from the executive session.

The board voted to create a new committee to “address the outcomes of the appeals just heard,” Garland said. The committee consists of Garland, vice president Robert Delle and David Benelli.

When asked about further information about the executive session, such as which part of open meetings law the session related to and what the meeting might entail, Garland only said that the meeting had to “do with student issues” and that “this one actually smacks of being exactly right” as a reason for the board to vote for a private, executive meeting.

Other board news focused on the school’s most recent financial updates.

Warren Easton Principal Alexina Medley will get a 7.8 percent salary boost of $10,000, the school’s executive board announced Thursday.

The vote came out of the financial committee, which proposed raising Medley’s annual salary to $137,500 for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The board wanted to make sure that Medley’s salary package is relative to the growth of the school, the size of the population and the progress of the school, Garland said.

Praising Medley’s work, Garland said that once one student is expected to graduate from summer school, Warren Easton will have 100 percent graduation again this year.

“We have three consecutive years of one hundred percent graduation, which is a heck of a milestone,” Garland said.

He added that the school was “exceeding” all of its guidelines. Unofficial 11th and 12th grade ACT scores show a growth from 17.7 in 2011-12 to 18.4 in 2012-13, and the unofficial tenth-grade plan composite score is up to 17.1 from 15.5, according to a principal’s report.

Board member David Benelli wanted to make sure that the assistant principals also got a similar percentage salary increases. Medley, who was in charge of her staff’s salary increases, said they did.

Assistant principal Mervin Jackson will increase a little more than 10 percent from $68,000 to $75,000 and assistant principal Joseph Gilyot III got a 5.8 percent salary bump from $82,000 to $86,727.

Part of that raise was due to the fact that Gilyot and other members of regular staff will be paid on a 12-month, rather than 11-month, basis next year, said Mike Greer, the school’s financial officer.

Greer’s salary rose 5.9 percent from $76,000 to $80,455.

Overall salaries for all staff will increase by .74 percent to about $4.17 million, according to the 2013-14 proposed budget. Salaries for instruction increased by only .54 percent, to about $2.74 million, according to that same budget.

Medley said the teachers and staff at Warren Easton were given regular pay increases on a yearly basis. Teachers generally get increases of about $600 a year, Medley said, while other staff get between $100 and $600 every year, depending on the staff’s job description. 

Medley also said the school is waiting on instruction concerning Act I, which requires a new salary schedule for the 2013-14 school year.

Out of the finance committee, the board also voted to prepare for a new contract with a different bus company.

The school currently uses Berry Transportation. However, Garland said Wednesday that the current contract was an interim one and that the school has been searching for a permanent contract for next year.

“There’s a whole mess of things we want to look at,” Garland said. “We have an initial bid from these companies, now we want to get down to the details such as how old are your buses, getting the certificate for insurance, looking at the details, making sure that all comes together.”

Garland said that the next contract could end up going to Berry again, but it all depends on what happens during the bidding process.

The board voted to give the financial committee authority to spend up to about $675,000 on transportation in 2013-14, a 3 percent increase from last year.

During a 2013-14 budget hearing held just prior to the board meeting, board members discussed which parts of the budgets have changed as the board’s minimum foundation program funds adjust.

One item that fluctuates, board member Brenda Christiansen said, is repairs and maintenance.

“Repairs and maintenance is a horrible one to budget for, because you never know what to budget,” she said.

The board also discussed the school’s budget for supplies, which decreased by nearly 54 percent from about $430,000 in the 2012-13 projected budget to about $199,000 in next year’s budget.

The change was mainly due to the fact that the school got unanticipated funding last year, and decided to spend the money on new computers for the kids.

“It’s not guaranteed that we’re going to get that kind of funding,” Garland said.

Aside from Garland, Delle, Greer, Medley, Christiansen and Benelli, board members Charles Petrey, John Broussard and Timolynn Sams were present. The budget hearing lasted from about 5 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. and the board meeting lasted from about 6 to 8:30.

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  • nickelndime

    Well, I guess that everything is right. Right?!!!