Board approves bus purchase

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 15, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; After some confusion and much discussion, the Concordia Parish School Board on Tuesday approved a motion for a bus purchase and tabled a motion for a Vidalia High School volunteer coach.

School board President Mike Grantham also announced students would not be out of school on Jan. 24. &uot;It was originally scheduled as a parent conference day, but now it will be a regular school day and students will be in attendance,&uot; he said.

The board was asked to approve the purchase of a school bus by Joyce Banks, but board members were under some confusion as to whether the school board is required to approve the purchase of a bus by a private individual.

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&uot;State law mandates that the school board grant approval,&uot; Donald Joseph said.

H.L. Irvin Jr., transportation supervisor for the Concordia Parish School Board, said this was a common motion before the board. &uot;We’ve basically done this before, but not quite this formal,&uot; Irvin said.

Board member Martha Rabb wanted to know if the motion had gone before a committee to discuss whether the board was going to purchase the bus.

&uot;I’m confused,&uot; she said.

Irvin said the motion was for Banks to buy the bus and not the school board. Board members approved the motion but clarified Banks could purchase a school bus with no fewer than 66 seats.

The board also discussed a request for a volunteer coach to assist the Vidalia High baseball team.

&uot;Why would we need to vote for a volunteer?&uot; asked board Vice President Raymond Riley Sr.

Riley expressed concern the volunteer position could turn into another paid position on the coaching staff. &uot;In my opinion, this is a volunteer today and a pay tomorrow,&uot; he said.

Board members discussed the fact that coaching volunteers do not need approval by the school board because they can already get a recommendation by the school principal and the athletic department and then take an eight-hour state course to become a volunteer coach.

&uot;Why does this have to come here? They already have the authority to do what they’re asking,&uot; Grantham said.

Grantham asked the board to table the matter given that none of the Vidalia High School baseball coaches or the person asking to be a volunteer could attend the meeting.

After the meeting, board member Ricky Raven said he did not want to discourage anyone from coming into the schools as volunteers.

&uot;I think we got off base. I was just trying to get it out there as a volunteer,&uot; he said. &uot;A few years ago the public schools didn’t open their doors to volunteers, and I think keeping your community involved is a good thing, and should be a good thing.&uot;

Raven said he didn’t know a lot about the person who was asking to officially become recognized as a volunteer.

&uot;It’s my understanding that this person is already helping, and he is going to take this course pretty quickly,&uot; he said without naming the volunteer. &uot;Vidalia has a pretty good baseball program and they’ve got about 30 kids, and it’s my understanding that this guy would be a big help. If it helps the community and the sport Š then I’m in support of it.&uot;