District financial standing and inspections, took front seat of Monday night’s Lonoke School Board meeting.

Superintendent Merle Dickerson started the meeting with an informational overview. He said before the state came in to assist the district with getting back on track financially, he believes the district would have been unable to see where it had stood for some time.

“I’m feeling really good about how we are getting closer and closer to those places,” Dickerson said.

The district has been working with the Arkansas department of education on the district’s finances. A representative from the department of education come to the administration building four times a month to review the finances and will them hold a monthly conference with Dickerson to review the district’s current standing.

Kathy Halford presented the board with a comparison sheet for ending balances for 2016 and 2017. The district legal balance of $1,077,000.38 is currently up $377, 483.26 from 2016 ending legal balance of $699, 517.12

“We did quite a bit better than last year,” Halford said. “You can see the difference. That’s what the state looks at to see if your in physically distress or one of the flags, so that’s a good thing.”

With the districts recent draws for construction, the building fund is down $437,514.08 from 2016, but food service was up $33,248 for the year.

“There were no indications of physically distress from last year or anything like that,” Halford said. “Everything turned out better than we thought it would be.”

“One of the things we do is look at these monies in different ways,” Dickerson said. “I’ve got another one [financial overview] here, sent to me from Stephens. At the end of this year, it shows $2,340,075. That’s going to be pretty good, if that’s right. So I feel pretty good about that because we are looking at our own stuff, at our money. And we are looking some of the things others are showing us as well. I think that’s right on with where we are suppose to be and I’m really please with our staff, who do that work. I think we will get in the right place. Maybe even sooner than we thought.”

Dickerson also provided a letter from the Arkansas Department of Education concerning the districts special education unit’s determination, which said the district “meets requirements in implementing the requirements of Part B of IDEA”.

“The first time I saw that , I was happy about about it, because we are looking at things and trying to do right to get our money where it is suppose to be,” Dickerson said. “It just felt good to get this and know that someone in Little Rock is saying we are doing the right thing. Not money necessarily, but it’s other stuff as well.”

Student Support Services Administrator Marc Sherrell presented the board with information regarding the district transportation site visit, which was found to be in very good working order. In addition, Sherrell presented the district’s state facilities inspection, which had no write ups on the elementary or middle school facilities.

In other business, the board unanimously approved:

-Approve the plaque layout for the primary school

-Accept the high school handbook changes

-Approve the Arkansas Department of Education Statement of Assurance for programs under Elementary and Secondary Education act, authorizing the superintendent to sign the assurances and submit an ACSIP application and budget

-Approve contract disclosure forms

-Approve the Arkansas Department of Education Statement of Assurance for compliance an to submit the written assurance by Oct. 15, 2017.

-Spend $15,000 for I-station software for the Middle School

-Approve a 20 year standing weather tightness limited warranty for the Primary school safe room

-Hire Calista Rowton as part time Primary school secretary

-Hire Kore Smith as full time bus driver

Mike Brown was absent from the meeting. The next regular scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 16 in the administration building.