ESA Funds dominate Dallas County Special called school board meeting

Published 8:52 am Sunday, April 9, 2023

By  Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

The Dallas County School Board held a special called meeting on Thursday at the Dallas County Central office. The agenda was to discuss the spending for the remaining federal funds the district has available from the ESA funds that the District received during COVID-19.

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Dallas County Schools Superintendent Anthony Sampson made a presentation to the board, showing the amount and timeline for the money from all the funds to get used and where the money would be spent.

Sampson explained that there were some movements in the original request that needed to be made. He highlighted those in red. One of those highlighted sections was SKC and after some further discussion, there was concern about SKC and the amount that the District would move to the original $3.1 million dollars that were a part of the original request that was made which includes the 2023 summer program and the 2024 summer program that would cover grades 4th-12th.

“There is really no additional shift other than those three summer programs that I made mention of. Credit Recovery is for secondary. That’s for our middle school and high school kids who need credit to still advance to the next grade,” Sampson said. “That’s one component of our program. The other component is the kindergarten- 3rd-grade literacy and numeracy based on English and Math requirements that the state has us doing. The other component is we expanded so that SK&C will help us administer a program for grades 4-12. That’s doing an enrichment for next year’s first nine weeks and first semesters immersion into the content areas of English and Math.”

SKC is a vendor that the school uses to support their teachers to better execute lesson plans as well as continue to improve in ways to teach students.  Board member Leroy Miles requested that Sampson bring more data that shows that SKC is giving the district the bang for the buck. President Mamie Solomon said that if the board didn’t make a decision soon on the proposal then the district would suffer as soon as summer school. Sampson said that it is important to remember that the teachers are the ones leading the instruction, not SKC. SKC according to Sampson helps teachers in more than one way.

“The annual ongoing support that SKC provides to teachers includes coaching offered within the classroom, they also help with administrative, as well as central office personnel,” Sampson said.

Sampson continued by saying that this money was a part of the 20% reservation that is required by law to be used from the time of COVID-19.

After much discussion, Sampson made a recommendation to approve the amended budget for the remaining federal funds. The motion was moved by Mark Story and second by Miles. The motion passed unanimously.

The board moved on to personnel. Sampson presented to the board the Lenfrong numbers of the salary of a Payroll Clerk. Sampson said they need to be competitive with other districts while looking for a Payroll Clerk since the position was so vital to the district. There was also discussion that someone was offered the job and had turned it down.

After discussion, there was a motion to approve to accept the rejection of the position as well as a motion for the modified salary schedule for the Payroll Clerk. Both motions were approved unanimously.