Pike BOE to redraw lines

Published 11:03 pm Monday, December 12, 2011

The Pike County Board of Education rescinded a previously submitted resolution concerning redistricting at its Monday meeting and gave approval to Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of education, to notify the board attorney that the submission to the Department of Justice should be withdrawn.

Bazzell said the data used in the redistricting map was corrupt and the map will have to be redrawn and resubmitted.

“There is no blame,” Bazzell told the board members. “All we had to go on was the data presented to us. But there is an issue, a problem.”

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The board recessed the meeting until 8:30 a.m. Friday when the board will meet at the State House in Montgomery along with the Pike County Commission to come up with a revised redistricting map.

“I am confident that we will leave with a map,” Bazzell said. “We will come back with a map. Then we will do the required advertising and posting for a public hearing to be held on January 2.”

Bazzell said he is also confident that the issue will be taken care of and will not impact the March 13 election date.

Bazzell said that, because the corrupted data was a Pike County source, it could have an impact on the municipalities’ district lines.

The board heard presentations from five architectural firms that are vying for contracts for the board’s $5.5 to $6 million capital improvement plans over the next year.

Bazzell said the improvements include a new gymnasium at Goshen High School, a new arts complex at Pike County High School and renovations at all campuses that include roofing, flooring, electrical upgrades and windows.

The presenting firms were McKee & Associates; Bargainer, Davis, Sims; PH&J; Godwin Jones and Goodwyn/Mills/Cawood.

All firms have experience in public school construction.

Bazzell said the board will give careful consideration to each presenting firm and do its homework before awarding a bid.

The board approved a one-time adjustment to Bazzell’s contract for the contract year beginning Jan. 2, 2011, and ending Dec. 31, 2011. The adjustment was plus $10,000 in the superintendent’s favor.

In personnel action, the board approved two hires, Theresa Wilson for fulltime bus driver for the special needs route beginning in January, and LaShaunda Stallworth for the special education instructional assistant at Pike County High School for the remainder of the year.

Joy Taylor was also approved as a part-time CNP bookkeeper with a salary at RSA/TRS minimum earning limit. However, board member Linda Steed voted against the hiring but said it was nothing personal involving Taylor, who she said did a good job.

“The RSA/TRS salary is not in line with the county’s salary schedule,” Steed said.

The board approved maternity leave for Jessica Morgan from Goshen Elementary School beginning Feb. 2 for a period of four to six weeks and approved Jesse Carroll Grant as a long-term substitute for Moran during her leave.

The board also approved a request for catastrophic leave for Darrelll Battles.

In other action, the board:

• Approved Internet and Instructional Technology Acceptable Use Policy for all users.

• Awarded the bid for off-lease refurbished computers to System Liquidation.

• Approved a resolution to authorize the superintendent to sign a Warrant Purchase Agreement between the board and The Frazier Lanier Company.

• Approved request for Elena Pop to attend the Alabama-Mississippi Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Annual Conference on Jan. 27 and 28. Expenses will be paid by the ESL funds and Title I funds.

• Approved the proposed “Flex Schedule” during the second term at Goshen High School and Pike County High School.