Franklin County will continue running buses in Itawamba County

By Gaynell Jackson/The Itawamba County Times

The Franklin County, Ala., School District has refused the Itawamba County School Board’s request to stop running buses into Itawamba County.

During the Monday night meeting of the Itawamba County school board, Michelle Floyd, board attorney, said she has received a reply to the letter she sent to the Franklin County school board regarding the Red Bay/Tremont busing issue.

“Their legal counsel said they intended to continue to run their buses into Itawamba County, picking up students to transport them to Red Bay schools,” said Floyd.

The Franklin County board plans to continue with the “agreement we had with Itawamba County several years ago.”

In order to protect themselves from liability concerns, the Alabama group has taken out insurance to protect themselves when their buses cross the state line.

Floyd said, according to Jim Keith, Mississippi School Board Attorney, the group of Mississippi students do not have to be released by Itawamba County in order to attend Red Bay schools.

He suggests sending a letter to the governor of Alabama respectfully asking him to intercede in the matter. Board members agreed this should be the next step in the process.

In other business, board members

• Approved adopting changes in grading policy to reduce to 15 percent the amount nine weeks test affects a student’s grade. The remaining 85 percent (of the grade) will be based on weekly tests and homework grades. The 15 percent amount is down from 25 percent the test presently counts.

• Approved hiring Tammy Minor, library aide, Shawn Gillean, Teri Rhodes, Laurie Alexander, Amy B. Johnson, Elizabeth Kelly and Tina Ginn, teachers, Mantachie Attendance Center; Julie Watson, teacher, Fairview Attendance Center; Brad Hamilton, teacher, IAHS; Louie Riddick and Shane Nichols, teacher/coach at Tremont Attendance Center; Charles Hamblin, bus driver, Mantachie Attendance Center; Tonia Dill, Lee Taylor and Clarissa Williamson, teachers, Itawamba Attendance Center; Hilda Bishop, part-time chorus, IAHS; Kathy Shumpert, cafeteria, Dorsey Attendance Center; Shelia Clayton, bus driver, Itawamba Attendance Center.

• Accepted resignations from John Marvin Smith, Megan Staub, Jamie Edwards, Nancy Bean, Judy McFadden, Diane Young, Vicki Cook, Ginger Mitchell, Susan McMullan, Robert “Bubba” Walker and Geneva Dabbs (bus driver only).

• Approved transfer of Stacey Jackson, teacher, from Mantachie Attendance Center to Tremont Attendance Center.

• Approved sick leave (retroactively) for Rita Thompson.

• Approved deletions at Mantachie Elementary School, Fairview Attendance Center, Mantachie High School, central office and bus shop.

• Approved bus turnaround at Bryan Ray’s home in first district.

• Approved SPED (special education) requests. All of these projects are financed with federal funds.

• Approved paying Mississippi School Board Association dues.

• Approved replacing carpet in three classrooms at Dorsey Attendance Center with tile.

• Approved repairing ag barn at Mantachie High School. Funding will come from QSCB (Quality School Construction Bonds) in addition to insurance claim.

• Approved seeking bids on repair projects at Tremont Attendance Center, bus shop, buildings at central office, bathrooms at Tremont, Mantachie and vocational complex. These projects are also funded by QSCB.

• Approved Patti Thrash to submit federal programs application.

• Approved submitting school program plan which involves each school looking at particular needs/needs assessment.

• Discussed state required policy change in relation to fund balance. This will require funds to be placed in five designated categories rather than in general funds.

• Approved paying unused sick leave for retirees.

• Discussed instituting a textbook fine policy with implementation planned for future meeting.

• Went into lengthy closed session to discuss personnel matters, pending litigation and possible property acquisition.

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