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Lanett City Schools adopts new budget

LANETT — On Wednesday afternoon the Lanett City Board of Education held a second public hearing and approved a budget for the 2019-20 school year.

There was one change from the proposed budget that was discussed in the first budget hearing last week. Chief Financial Officer Gwyn Barnes explained to the board that a late-arriving gifted allocation of $258,318 increased the overall budget to a little more than $10.4 million.

The annual budget was approved in a unanimous vote. Under state law, each public school system must submit a board-approved budget to the State Department of Education by mid-September. This year’s deadline is Monday, Sept. 16.

In other business, the board approved a capital plan for 2019-20. The plan lists 15 priorities: replacing the chiller for Lanett High and the junior high (projected budget $230,000), replacing some faulty exterior doors (projected budget $25,000), renovating the home side restrooms and concession stands at Morgan-Washburn Stadium (projected budget $35,000), replacing the ceiling tiles at all three schools and at the Central Office (projected budget $30,000), replacing the roof at Lanett High ($300,000), renovating locker rooms ($150,000), replacing the flooring in some classrooms at W.O. Lance Elementary ($15,000), resurfacing the parking lots at Lanett High ($25,000), painting the interior and exterior of buildings ($25,000), lighting upgrades for classrooms and hallways at Lanett High and Lanett Junior High ($300,000), replacing the doors at Lanett High and Lanett Junior High ($75,000), replacing all windows at the Central Office ($25,000) and renovating the Verdis F. Bible Fine Arts Center and lobby at LHS ($500,000).

The chiller replacement, faulty door replacement, restroom and concession stand renovations, and ceiling tile replacements are on schedule to be taken care of in 2020. The goal is to address the other listed priorities by the year 2024.

The board approved a parent and family engagement policy, an at-risk plan and an English Learner plan. These are state policies to help local school districts involve parents and family members with implementing a local agency plan, a plan to reduce risky behaviors and to improve the education of English learners by assisting children to learn English while meeting challenging state academic standards.

Approval was also given to a 2019-20 consolidated plan, which is designed to ensure that all children receive a high-quality education and to close the achievement gap between children who are meeting the state academic standards and the children who are not.

The board approved two out-of-state trips for enrichment teacher Mary Andrews and her students. In one of the trips, Andrews and nine third grade students from W.O. Lance will be going to Callaway Gardens in October for a hands-on experience to study ecosystems, creating a background to study animals in a manner aligned with their science courses and state standards.

In the second trip, Andrews and 25 seventh- and eighth-grade students from Lanett Junior High will travel to the David J. Sencer Centers for Disease Control Museum in Atlanta, which will align with their study of epidemiology.