Watson Chapel School Board approves Edgewood project funding measure

The Watson Chapel School District Board of Directors voted during its regular monthly meeting Monday night to authorize the expenditure of up to $1.1 million of district funds to pay for costs associated with the construction of the new Edgewood Elementary School.

The expenditure will be reimbursed from proceeds of the $4.265 million bond offering approved by voters in a special millage election earlier this year, according to the reimbursement resolution approved by the school board.

“This has to be passed to allow us to spend money for the project before we sell our bonds,” district superintendent Danny Hazelwood said prior to the vote.

The resolution calls for proceeds from the bonds to be applied to reimburse the school district within 18 months after the later of the date of the expenditure or the date on which the project is placed in service, and at the latest within three years after the date of making the expenditure.

In other business the board approved the district budget for the 2013-2014 school year.

“We are doing a very hard job keeping our district above water as our revenue continues to drop,” Hazelwood said prior to the vote. “It’s getting extremely hard to meet our budget but we are still financially stable. We will continue to be extremely careful about replacing personnel. We are getting less money but we are still able to provide our students with a quality education in a safe environment and we are very proud of that.”

The estimated 2013-2014 budget shows total revenue of $25,164,091; which is down from the 2012-2013 actual revenue of $25,427,523; and revenue of $26,894,134 for the 2011-2012 school year.

The board approved a minority recruitment plan outlining the district’s plan for recruiting minority teachers and administrators as required by Arkansas state law.

The board approved a series of personnel recommendations including the hiring of Linda Jordan and Pearline Rivers as substitute cafeteria workers; Randy Baker as a bus driver; and Leah Wigley as a substitute bus driver.

The board accepted the retirement of Helen Boykin.

The board approved the August financial report which showed monthly revenue of $1,610,161; expenditures of $1,213,695; and an ending balance of $5,427,687.

After holding a closed hearing, the board voted to expel a student at Watson Chapel Junior High School for the remainder of the semester for spray painting profanity and lewd language on school property.