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Volume 39, No. 6 / May 2011

Board member training...

A Beard, Shepherd elected to NSBA, COSA boards!

It’s Official: MSBA Vice President / Laurel School Board Member Miranda Beard (above left) and CSBA president / Jackson Public Schools InHouse Attorney JoAnne Nelson Shepherd (above right) are now members of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Board of Directors and the NSBA Council of School Attorneys (COSA)Board of Directors, respectively. Both were elected in April meetings of the organizations. Beard, assistant News Content Director at WDAM television in Hattiesburg, is filling a oneyear unexpired term for new NSBA Secretary-Treasurer David Pickler of Tennessee. Shepherd was elected to a two-year term on the COSA Board. Designed exclusively for attorneys who specialize in school and education law, COSA serves nearly 3,000 member attorneys in 37 affiliated state councils. MSBA is asking the Southern Region to join in supporting Beard for a full term on the NSBA Board of Directors.

t press time, most Mississippi school board members had earned state mandated training hours for 2010-11. That includes almost 90 participants (some of them superintendents) at the 12-hour Basic Course for new school board members and hundreds of other board members who earned a minimum of six hours for other events and training opportunities. Even so, about 50 veteran board members were missing all six hours of continuing education training and another 14 still needed three training hours (as of May 20). Mississippi Code MS Code 37-7-306 cautions board members to earn required training hours or face possible removal from office: All newly elected / appointed school board members must take the 12-hour basic course, while continuing board members must earn six hours annually. MSBA records indicate that veteran board members earned mandated training hours in various ways, with 289 registrations recorded for the Team Building course 333 for the Data First for Governance course offered regionally by MSBA. Registrations for MSBA statewide events ranged from 310 for the Fall Leadership Conference last November to right at 400 for the Annual Conference in February. For more information, contact April Mills at MSBA, amills@msbaonline.org.

NOTICE:

Sat., June 18 Two 3-hour Courses Mississippi College

B. C. Rogers Student Center - President’s Dining Room B, clinton, MS

9 a.m. - 12 noon

MSBA wants to recognize school board members who have served for 35 years or more. Email April Mills, amills@msbaonline.org, the names of board members who meet this criterion.

Course 1: Data First for Governance 3 Credit Hours

1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

COURSE 2: Team Building 3 Credit Hours

Fri. - Sat., June 24-25 for New School Board Members 12 Credit Hours

Holiday Inn Express 495 Springridge Rd • Clinton, MS

8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Friday 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Saturday

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MSBA Board of Directors starts planning for hosting of 2012 NSBA Southern Region Conference in Mississippi, making a one-time commitment to allow Mississippi board members to earn special credit for the meeting.

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Photo Highlights of the May 2-3 Legislative Update / School Law Review and the May 3-4 AABC Conference. Webster, Tishomingo boards adopt MSBA Professional Governance Standards, Tishomingo County trustees for the second time.


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Grenada’s Surrell named top MS business official The Update is published bimonthly as a resource for school board members and administrators throughout Mississippi, designed to keep them abreast of issues affecting education locally, nationally and internationally. Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Michael W. Waldrop, Ph.D. Executive Director mwaldrop@msbaonline.org Denotris Jackson Director of Policy / Advocacy djackson@msbaonline.org Linda Buford-Burks Director of Communications lburks@msbaonline.org Darla J. Warren Business Manager djwarren@msbaonline.org Rose Regina Coordinator of Workers’ Compensation rregina@msbaonline.org Anissa Young Insurance Program Manager ayoung@msbaonline.org Amy McIntosh Risk Management Specialist amcintosh@msbaonline.org April Mills Executive Assistant amills@msbaonline.org Alexis Cole Receptionist receptionist@msbaonline.org Jim Keith, J.D. General Counsel John T. Mandeville Business Development / Marketing 225-953-1124 / jmandy@cox.net

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o Surrell, Grenada School District Business Manager, is Mississippi’s Outstanding Business Official of the Year. Recognized by the Southeastern Association of School Business Officials (SASBO) and selected by the Mississippi Association, Surrell was honored at the national conference in North Carolina in April.  His recognition included an all-expense paid trip to the April conference and the selection of a student to receive a $250 scholarship in his name. Grenada Superintendent David Daigneault says that Surrell, who routinely receives accolades from the State Auditor’s Office for his excellent work, has in place meticulous accounting practices and an unwavering dedication “to keep our district on track and fiscally sound.”  “Through his efforts, our district is able to maximize the educational impact of every dollar of funding that we receive,” Dr. Daigneault maintains. Surrell, a graduate of Millsaps College, began his career in 1983 with the State Auditor’s Office and became the Business Manager of Grenada School District in 1986.  He served as President of MASBO (Mississippi Association of School Business Officials) in 1995. His outstanding accounting procedures in the Grenada Schools District have garnered yearly awards from the State Auditor’s Office. He has received a Certificate for Recognizing Achievement in Financial Reporting annually since 1989 and a Certificate for Recognizing Fixed Asset Management since the award’s inception. MSBA extends congratulations to Surrell and the entire Grenda School District. Board members are David Braswell, board president; Arlene Conley, James Hughes; Tim LeClair; and, Keith Watson. EDITOR’S NOTE: Information and photo for this article were provided by Gail Daigneault, Public Relations Director for the Grenada School District.  

Some news items in this issue may have been taken in part or in whole from resources outside MSBA’s organization. Regular columns in this newsletter from outside resources include: • Technicalities, compiled from a newsletter of the same name published by State Auditor Stacey Pickering’s Office; • AG’s Opinions, from Attorney General Jim Hood’s Office; and,

• Ethics Opinions, from the Mississippi Ethics Commission - Tom Hood, Executive Director. Additionally, information in this issue about school district honors not presented by MSBA or about exemplary school district programs is likely from the districts or from the Mississippi Department of Education.

Mississippi School Boards Association

489 Springridge Road • P. O. Box 203 • Clinton, MS 39060 (601) 924-2001 • Fax: (601) 924-2003 • Toll Free: (888) 367-6722 www.msbaonline.org

MISSION

The mission of the Mississippi School Boards Association is to ensure quality school board performance through advocacy, technical assistance, board development and information dissemination.

CORE VALUES

At MSBA, we are: • Honest • Promise Keepers • Membership Service Focused • Seekers of Perfection

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Technicalities

from the State Auditor’s Office

Policy References, where applicable, are in blue. An Opportunity for Businesses to Join in Support of Better School Governance and Higher Student Achievement Affiliate Members

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Contact Darla Warren at MSBA today about making the right connections. BoardBook is MSBA’s paperless solution for effective board meetings.

djwarren@msbaonline.org 888-367-6722

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May a municipality withhold a fee or commission for the collection of property taxes for a municipal school district? Section 37-57-1 requires the governing authorities of municipalities to levy and collect taxes for municipal school districts, with certain exceptions. The municipal governing authorities are required to levy an additional amount sufficient to cover anticipated delinquencies and costs of collection and the amount collected to defray the cost of collection is to be retained by the municipality, insuring that the net amount of money produced will be equal to the amount which is requested by the school board. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Jones dated March 21, 2011) DFA, DCC   Does a school district have the authority to obtain credit cards issued in the name of the institution for use in securing payment for hotel rooms, as well as securing and paying for air, train or bus fare for employee-related travel? No.  The Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management, has adopted regulations governing the use of credit cards, procurement cards and purchasing club membership cards pursuant to Section 31-7-9(1)(b).  Policy 10.115.06 of DFA’s Procurement Manual provides that governing authorities shall not use a credit card for travel purposes except where allowed by statute, and we are unable to find any specific statutory authority for the use of credit cards by school districts for travel purposes. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Gunnell dated March 4, 2011) DJE Is a school district authorized to pay a stipend to its employee acting as project director with excess grant funds? No.  Unless the district authorized the payment of a stipend or additional compensation when the employee was hired or designated as project director, it would be a violation of Section 96 of the Mississippi Constitution to now award the employee additional compensation after performance of the job duties. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Turner dated February 18, 2011) DJ, GAG  May a hunting club in which the school superintendent is an officer lease Sixteenth Section land from the school district?   No.   The superintendent is required to sign all leases under Section 29-3-82(g), but doing so would violate Section 25-4-105(1). (Advisory opinion of the Mississippi Ethics Commission 11-003-E dated March 11, 2011) GAG   May a county supervisor contract with the county school district? Yes. While boards of supervisors do approve the ad valorem tax levy for county school districts, the board of supervisors would not in any way be authorizing a contract between the school board and a supervisor, as proscribed in Section 109, Miss. Const. of 1890, and Section 25-4-105(2). Moreover, the county and the school district are separate governmental entities, and no violation of Section 254-105(3)(a) should result from such a contractual relationship. (Advisory opinion of the Mississippi Ethics Commission 11-001-E dated February 11, 2011) DJED, FGDB, GAG


Boards adopt governing standards

C

ongratulations to the Webster County School District Board of Trustees for its formal adoption of the MSBA Professional Governance Standards during this school year, and to the Tishomingo County School District Board of Trustees for its re-adoption of the standards (first adopted in March 2007). A new member joined the Tishomingo trustees in January, the month that the board renewed its commitment to the MSBA Professional Governance Standards. Photos of the two boards, courtesy of the districts, are below. MSBA encourages all boards in

the state to adopt the standards, which describe in writing commonly agreed upon principles of effective governance. Adoption of the standards is the pledge of all board members to adhere to the principles in their efforts to govern effectively. MSBA advocates adoption of the standards also as a means of enhancing each school district’s operation as well as the public’s understanding about the responsibilities of local school boards. A copy of the Professional Governance Standards is on the MSBA website, www. msbaonline.org or call MSBA toll free, 888-367-6722, for more information.

No authority is given under the Education Employment Procedures Law granting a school board the power to extend the deadline for an employee to request an appeal hearing. (Dickerson, 2/19/2010)(#179)(OP-10-00028) There is no violation of the nepotism law for a kindergarten student to be in the homeroom of his or her great-aunt who is a teacher’s assistant. (Walker, 2/5/2010)(#188)(OP-10-00031)

JPS among 12 finalists for national arts award

Webster County School District: Left to Right (Front) - Board Members Bobby McMullen and Eddy Brown; (Middle) Board Attorney Hugh Gibson, Board Members Charles Bailey, Keith Hudspeth, chair; (Back) Scott Hollenhead

Tishomingo County School District: SEATED - Left to Right: Board Member Charles South and Supt. Malcolm Kuykendall; STANDING: Left to Right: Board Members Jeff Allred, Harold Sparks, Tommy Dean and Michael Puckett, board chair.

The Jackson Public School District was among the 12 finalists in the nation in the 23rd Annual Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and National School Boards Association Award. The San Diego Unified School District was honored as the national award recipient in April at NSBA’s annual conference in San Francisco. The award recognizes outstanding support of high-quality arts education, focusing on school board support of such programs. Both MSBA and the Mississippi Alliance for Arts joined in support of the Jackson district’s Power APAC program for the Kennedy Center award. Recipient of the 2010 Mississippi Alliance for Arts School of Excellence Award, APAC was the Alliance’s choice as Mississippi’s nominee. Congratulations to the Jackson Public School District for making it to the top 12! The district leadership team consists of Board Members Kisiah Nolan, chair, Timothy Collins, Dr. Ivory Phillips, Linda Rush, George Schimmel, and Supt. Lonnie Edwards.

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Crunching the graduation, dropout numbers...

In a May 4 news release, the Mississippi Department of Education announced that the state’s dropout rate for the Class of 2010 is 17.0 percent, slightly up from the 16.8 percent recorded for the Class of 2009. The graduation rate changed slightly with the current rate at 71.4 percent, compared to last year’s graduation rate of 71.6 percent. The completion rate for the Class of 2010 is 78.6 percent compared to the previous year’s rate of 79.3 percent. Students are tracked and figures are calculated through the Mississippi Student Information System using data provided by school districts. MDE is re-initiating its dropout prevention efforts as it strives to reduce the state’s dropout rate to 13 percent by 2013. One of the most recent initiatives was the Choice Bus, a tool created by The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation and sponsored by State Farm Insurance. The bus is an experience-based learning tool designed to show young people the power of education and the likely consequences of choosing to drop out of school. More than 2,000 middle school students throughout Mississippi toured the Choice Bus.

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS:

Legislative Update / School Law Review


7th Annual AABC Conference (Administrative Assistants / Board Clerks)

Common Core Standards training held

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is providing two-day training sessions on the K-12 Common Core State Standards and Assessments through June 15. Dr. Sue Gendron, former State Education chief in Maine, is conducting the sessions on behalf of the International Center for Leadership in Education. The training is designed for leadership teams of teachers and principals who, in turn, share the information with others in their school districts. 

MS students compete at SkillsUSA Mississippi will have 203 students and advisors from school districts and community colleges competing June 23 in 44 contests at the SkillsUSA National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. The students won first place at the Mississippi SkillsUSA events this spring. SkillsUSA is a national organization serving trade, industrial, technical and health occupations students.

FYI: USDOE Survey

The U.S. Department of Education will be selecting at random school districts, including in Mississippi, to participate in the survey, Charting the Progress of Education Report: An Evaluation of the Recovery Act’s Role.

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Board members can earn credit for 2012 Southern Region Conference

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t its regular meeting on May 2, the MSBA Board of Directors approved allowing Mississippi school board members to earn continuing education credit July 23-26, 2012 when MSBA will host the National School Boards Association’s Southern Region Conference. The move suspends MSBA’s current policy on the matter as a one-time measure so that board members in the state can get state-mandated training hours in the year that MSBA is in charge of the meeting. Normally, board member attendance at the Southern Region Conference counts only toward the MSBA Board Honors Program. “The board maintained that because we are hosting the 2012 meeting, we would have more control over sessions that relate to the work of Mississippi school board members as well as a better handle on monitoring attendance,” said MSBA Executive Director Michael W. Waldrop, of the board’s action. The NSBA Southern Region Conference rotates among 11 states including Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. North Carolina is hosting the meeting this July in Ashville, NC (see the information on the next page).

AT RIGHT: MSBA President Marion Barksdale discusses an agenda item, while members David Duncan (photo below, far right) and William Kinard follow along on their laptops.

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hosted by the North Carolina School Boards Association Get the Conference Agenda, Registration Materials and Other Information

www.ncsba.org

Questions? Call NCSBA, 919.841.4040

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“Exploring Common Core State Standards” July 19 & 20, 2011 Mid-South Conference Center Robinsonville, MS We invite you to join JBHM Education Group and regional partner schools and districts as we explore best practices in education as they relate to Common Core State Standards. For details, updates, and registration information visit us at jbhm-edgroup.com/conference.

Registration is NOW OPEN!

Featured speakers will be Dr. Lawrence Lezotte (pictured at left) and Dr. Douglas Reeves (at right), two of America’s most renowned and distinguished education innovators. Sessions led by JBHM and partner schools will hone your skills as we share the methods that continue to foster success. Topics will be varied and many, including: Effective Leadership Teams to Impact Student Achievement and Targeted Interventions to Improve Student Achievement.

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MSBA Board of Directors OFFICERS

District 3 (2009-2011) Barbara Jones Lauderdale County

DIRECTORS District 1 (2009-2011) David Duncan South Tippah

President

Marian Barksdale Oxford Vice President

Sondra Odom Pearl

Miranda Beard Laurel

Stephen Dodd DeSoto County

Secretary-Treasurer

Tommy Prude Columbus Municipal

Bobby Gault New Albany

District 2 (2010-2012) Tommie Cardin Clinton

Immediate Past President

Lygunnah Bean South Panola

Glenda Barrett Gary Golden Newton County Pontotoc City

District 4 (2010-2012) Steve Conner Quitman Patricia Stennet Hancock County

William Kindard Coahoma County

James Stubbs Long Beach

Demetric Warren Hollandale Presidential Appointees*

Etta Taplin North Pike

Jerome Hafter Greenville

*Serve during the MSBA President’s one-year term of office.

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Dr. Lucius Lampton South Pike

Jackson

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Tupelo

2011 May-June Update  

The May MSBA Update contains photo highlights from both the Legislative Update / School Law Review and the 7th Annual AABC Conference. Also...

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