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Parents voice concerns at meeting

By By BILL CRIST – Publisher
Speaking on behalf of several T.R. Miller Lady Tiger basketball players' parents at the Brewton City Board of Education meeting on Monday, Cynthia Moore expressed frustration over the decision to have the team leave for its state semi-final game in the early hours of the morning, rather than driving up the night before and staying at a hotel.
Brewton City Schools board president Stephanie Walker said that the board does not get involved in decisions such as team travel.
Moore said that the girls' teams were not treated the same as the boys' teams.
Board member Terrill Neal said that in the future, all travel plans would be coordinated by Riggs, in his role as athletic director.
Superintendent Lynn Smith made several recommendations to the board involving improvements at Brewton Elementary School and the kindergarten building.
Because of ongoing problems with leaks at the elementary school, Smith suggested that the roof over the school's media center be retrofitted with a metal roof. The new roof will cost $46,827 and will be installed in conjunction with a new coating that is to be put on the copper roof this summer.
WAR Construction Inc. had the lowest of three price quotes and will try to begin the project before the coating work, but some of the work may overlap.
The elementary school will also be getting a new Bogan intercom system, which will be installed by Sander Security. Since several speakers are in need of being replaced, the board approved the recommendation that the project will not exceed $7,400.
The kindergarten building will be re-shingled, the interior gutters will be removed and the roof extended and exterior trim will be installed above the windows. Wedge Roofing turned in the low quote of $40,620.
All three projects will be funded with funds made available through the Quality Zone Academy Bonds program. The federally funded programs allows schools to receive interest free loans. The Brewton City Schools received over $683,000 in funds, at a cost of $407,000 to the system. The funds must be used on elementary school buildings.
Smith also presented the board with a resolution requesting the county commission to explore alternative means for funding education. Some of those methods could involve fees levied on all taxpayers for items like license plates. They would not require a public vote for approval.
Smith said the Escambia County Board of Education would send the same resolution to the commission.
He also said that the state's new method of determining teacher units would mean an increase of seven locally-funded units for the city schools. The system currently has seven locally-funded teachers.
Smith said the schools are not looking at cutting any programs due to the current financial situation.