• 54°

State reneges on #036;427,000

to Pike County Schools

By BETH LAKEY

Staff Writer

Aug. 21, 2000 10 PM

Almost $427,000 is being lost by the Pike County Schools.

Superintendent John Key said the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs has reneged on a contract already signed by Gov. Don Siegelman and Key for the School-to-Work funds from the state.

Key said ADECA had "assured" Key the school system was getting the money and, last week, officials were informed the money wasn’t there.

"I haven’t given up on it, yet," Key said of getting the money.

What upsets Key is the school system had already committed personnel to the program and the contracts had been signed before the money was pulled out of their grasp.

Key said the School-to-Work program is beneficial because it helps At-Risk students and gives students employability skills.

"It’s something we’re getting a lot of mileage from," Key said.

He also said he was in the process of contacting State Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne, and State Rep. Alan Boothe, D-Troy and encouraged anyone to contact them and Nick Bailey at ADECA.

In other business, the board:

· Voted to rebid the propane gas contract because the bids were "more than we anticipated," Key said during his recommendation.

The bids received exceeded the budgeted amount.

· Awarded a $46,160 contract for fencing to Woodall Fence.

· Named Colonial Bank for the payroll account beginning Oct. 31.

· Approved East Central Mental Health as a partner is the At-Risk program.

Under a state mandate, 20 percent of At-Risk funds must be used for a community-based agency.

Assistant Superintendent Mark Bazzell said the agency will help those students assigned to the Alternative School and with re-integrating them into the regular classroom.

The funds will pay for a community outreach specialist who is employed by ECMH and works with the county schools on truancy intervention. The individual will also help the school nurses, Bazzell said.

· Approved the employment of Barbara Holladay as migrant program aide at Goshen Elementary School, effective Aug. 14.

· Approved an aide position at Banks School.

· Accepted the resignation of Major Harry Potts, ROTC instructor at Pike County High School, effective Sept. 1, 2000.

· Approved spending $400 to purchase books for the four students enrolled in the Global Studies Academy. The college-level textbooks are for American history and English.