HAMILTON - The Marion County School System’s education sales tax collections for the month of November were the highest in the last 11 years.
Marion County Superintendent of Eduction Ann West told the Marion County Board of Education during its meeting on Thursday, Dec. 13, that collections for October 2018 were $152,250—$12,677 higher than the previous year.
This marks the fourth-consecutive month with a record-breaking collection.
The lowest collections on record for November came in fiscal year 2009, when on $97,400 was brought in.
Thus far in this fiscal year, the local sales tax collection has provided $290,745 to local education.
In other business, the board:
• Accepted a sealed bid from CDW-G of Shelton, Conn., for 360 Chromebooks and charging carts for ninth-grade students.
The Chromebooks will be purchased for $360 each. Twelve charging carts for the laptops will also be purchased for $869 each.
The total purchase was $96,828.3
• Approved two volunteers, including Kevin Campbell, who will be volunteering at Hamilton High School’s mentorship program, and Andy McAnally, who will be volunteering at Phillips High School.
• Heard from Marion County High School volunteer basketball coach Willie Joe Hollis of Guin, who addressed the board after the meeting adjourned.
Hollis expressed his concerns with the board’s policy to not allow volunteers to be alone with students without a certified teacher present.
The coach said that he was worried that if he wasn’t allowed to supervise the school team by himself, the students could miss practice opportunities.
“We’ve been through the screening and background checks just like the teachers,” Hollis noted, “How is it any different?”
Marion County Board of Education District 5 member Beverly Burleson explained that the policy was in place because the system’s liability insurance policy won’t cover the costs of lawsuits if something were to happen while a volunteer was supervising students alone.
Burleson assured Hollis, though, that any board-certified teacher could meet the supervision requirements—even an elementary school teacher.
Marion County Board of Education District 4 member “Coach” Don Jones advised that it was the school’s athletic director’s job to make sure certified teachers were lined up for practices and that is who would need to be responsible.
• Approved six school trips.
On Dec. 14, Supervisor for Marion County Schools Jason Bourland took eight 11th-grade Marion County students to Alabama Power in Haleyville to participate in the Marion-Winston Youth Leadership Academy.
Bourland was also approved to take the students to the leadership academy on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 9 and 10, Feb. 13, March 13, April 3 and May 8.
Hamilton High School teachers David Markham and Kristin Nunley will be taking 10 11th- and 12th-grade students to St. Louis, Mo., to tour the Monsanto and Bayer corporations Sunday through Monday, Jan. 20-21.
The students will visit the facility to see how genetics are collected on crops to see how genetically modified organisms are prepared and observe current technology innovations in agriculture.
• Approved three use-of-facilities requests.
The Guin Park and Recreation Department will use the Marion County High School Gymnasium on various dates for the 2019 season for the purpose of park basketball practice and games.
Marion County Elks Lodge #2684 will use the Marion County High School gym on Saturday, Jan. 13, from 1-3 p.m. for the purpose of Hoop Shoot.
West noted that the organization had submitted a $60 pre-payment for the gym’s use.
• The Bear Creek Park and Recreation Department will use the Phillips Elementary School and Phillips High School gyms for the 2018-2019 basketball season for youth league basketball.
See complete story in the Journal Record.