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      The Evangeline Parish School Board approved the recommended  E-Rate  471 Plan as proposed by Technology Facilitator Connie Bertrand. E-Rate is a program where the federal government pays a significant percentage of technology in public schools on a formula based on the number of free and reduced schools in the school district.

      Connie Bertrand reported that Priority One projects will be funded at a rate of 85% from the federal government and 15% from the school district.

       Priority Two projects  includes totally rewiring every school in the parish for internet service. That project which is being mandated by the state will cost $1.9 million dollars. In two years, school districts will begin doing testing through the internet.

     While the school board will receive the Priority One funding, it is uncertain whether the school district will obtain any Priority Two funding.

     In other business, Superintendent of Schools Toni Hamlin reported that Arlene Richard has been selected to become the new Special Education Director and Roxanne West as new Special Education Supervisor. They will oversee a program that takes care of 889 students in the parish.

     Superintendent Hamlin announced that Mike Hazelton was named as new Foreman for the school board maintenance department and Vachansky Thomas as the new Warehouse Manager.

    In other action the school board:

--was notified that the Evangeline Parish School Board along with two other school districts lost a court battle over payment toward the retirement system for bus drivers. The school board is liable for payment of $256,000 for bus driver owner operators;

--reminded the public that for the first time, all juniors and seniors will be taking  the American College Test whether they are college bound or not. The testing will be taken on March 19. In connection with the ACT testing, the board purchased 250 scientific calculators at a cost of  $25,747;

--due to the Easter holiday, agreed to have only board meeting in April, on April

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The Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum operated by the City of Ville Platte is open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Come view the amazing artifacts, photos, records, Wall of Fame and hear the music. Admission charge is $3 adults, $2 seniors and $1 for children under 12. The museum is located on Northwest Railroad Avenue.

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