No more school proration this year?

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More than halfway through the fiscal year, Brewton City Schools Superintendent Lynn Smith said state officials do not believe more proration will be necessary.

But with the current year’s budget based on 2.5 percent growth, Smith said he would not be surprised if further cuts occur.

“They kind of feel good at 7.5 percent proration,” Smith said of state officials. “But you’ve got to have positive growth.”

The city school board on Monday approved a budget amendment to accommodate the state-required cuts known as proration. Proration was declared shortly after the fiscal year began in October.

In other business Monday:

• The board reviewed a new anti-harassment policy for students. The policy is required by the state following legislation passed in the 2009 legislative session. The state board of education has provided a model policy for school boards to follow, and that is the one Smith proposed to the board.

“We have a policy for teachers and students,” Smith said, but the state law has more specific requirements.

The school system also continues to use the Talk About It computer program, which students can use to communicate anonymously with teachers and school officials to report incidents of bullying and harassment, as well as other problems.

The school board will vote on the policy pending review by teacher and parent groups.

• The board moved to return one of the most well-known student offenses to the student code of conduct: gum chewing.

Somehow, over the years, the ban on gum and candy in classrooms was edited out of the Brewton City Schools student code of conduct, Smith told board members.

“We do have a ban on food and drink in the classroom,” Smith said. “We don’t allow eating in the classrooms. Somehow (gum and candy) got edited out.”

Smith said school officials do act on the offense, which is among the lowest offenses listed in the student code of conduct.

The school board will vote on the change pending review by teacher and parent groups.