On Thursday, May 16, the Morehouse Parish School Board hosted both a finance committee meeting and a public meeting to address topics such as the Pre-K program at all public schools, the addition of Pre-K classes to Morehouse Magnet School and additional reductions in force at the central office.

The two separate Pre-K discussions merged into one that saw the idea of adding buildings to H.V. Adams for two Pre-K classes set aside until it was determined if Morehouse Magnet and other area schools can house the students in previously existing classrooms and spaces.

According to Magnet Principal Gwen Seay, the school could definitely hold two Pre-K classes.

In the finance committee meeting, concern was expressed that students would be rolled over into the Magnet school after Pre-K, but it was established that a test would be given to students before they progressed into the upper grades at the school.

The formal motion made at the meeting, which will be presented as a recommendation at the next regular school board meeting, emphasized that the Pre-K will only be housed at the Magnet school and not part of the Magnet program.

After the committee meeting, the public school board meeting started and reductions in force were discussed. The positions of Grants Management Secretary, Grants, Testing Coordinator, Grants Management Coordinator, Personnel Director, Personnel Secretary, Title I Director, Title I Secretary, Special Education Supervisor, Special Education Pre-school Coordinator were brought before the board.

"I don't have a recommendation for the personnel written on this form," Dr. George Noflin, Superintendent of the Morehouse Parish School System, said.

He presented the board with a job description for the personnel and the total savings, approximately $40,000, that would occur if the positions were moved from 12 to 11 months.

"It is not my recommendation to move these people from 12 months to 11 months," Noflin stated.

After extensive debate about the value of different positions, including the amount of money individual workers ensure the school system receives on a monthly basis, the board adjourned without making a formal recommendation in the form of a motion.

However, a balanced budget remains the goal.

"The recommendation is a balanced budget," Jeff Churchwell, District 4 representative said.

The importance of a balanced budget was also echoed by President Mike Stephens.

"If he [Noflin] doesn't come up with a balanced budget, we have to do what we have to do," Stephens said earlier in the meeting.

The school board will host its next committee meeting on May 20.