Ville Platte- The Evangeline Parish School Board received news Wednesday that they must find millions of dollars in funding a state directive to prepare for on-line testing of students in two years.
Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin said the program will initially cost the school board 2 million dollars in infrastructure such as wiring. In addition to that cost, the school district will have to purchase some 2000 new computers at a minimum cost of $600 each.
One funding source, the E-rate Priority Two program, was denied. The school board had applied through this federal funding source that is based on the number of free and reduced school lunch served daily.
The new on-line testing program goes into effect in the 2014-2015 school year for students in grades 3-11. Currently there are only two districts in the entire state that is prepared to implement the program.
The board’s newly appointed executive committee, which is in charge of financial matters, is due to meet in early January to begin reviewing funding options and sources. The committee is comprised of Ellis Guillory, Arthur Savoy, Jerry Thompson and Peggy Forman.
In another matter, the school board approved the adoption of a new reapportionment plan as prepared by Demographer Mike Heffner. The new map calls for minor adjustments in district lines based on the latest 2010 census. The parish population decreased by 2000 residents since the 2000 census.
Two of the districts with the most population shifts are: District Five represented by Peggy Forman in the Bayou Chicot and Turkey Creek area that was 19 percent too high in the mean population and District 13 in the City of Ville Platte area that was 14 percent too low.
The approved plan will be sent to the Justice Department for review. The next school board election is set for 2014.
In other action the school board:
--re-elected Wayne Dardeau as president of the school board for another term and elected Scott Limoges as new Vice President replacing Jerry Thompson.