Livingston Parish School Board Appoints Members of Educational Facilities Improvement District | Livingston/Tangipahoa

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The Livingston Parish School Board on October 6 appointed nine community members to serve on a newly created Education Facilities Improvement District that will review local funding options to improve salaries for all employees in the school system.

The school board voted to create the district at its Sept. 15 meeting, and members tasked each other with appointing appointees to the district. The nine members of the council appointed the following people:

  • John Blount, graduate of Walker Schools, president and director of Blount General Contractors and John Blount Builders LLC, and past president and current board member of the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce. Its businesses provide preconstruction, construction management and project construction services. Nominated by Jeff Cox.
  • Thomas “Bruiser” Bryson, a Springfield resident and retired US Army sergeant. Named by Norman Picou.
  • Lawson Covington, resident of Denham Springs and director of the brokerage firm Covington and Associates Real Estate LLC in Denham Springs. His business deals in the sale of residential real estate, new construction, commercial real estate and vacant land in an area of ​​eight parishes. Nominated by Cecil Harris.
  • Coty Hardy, an Albany resident and project manager for Providence Engineering who specializes in jobs requiring structural concrete, asphalt paving, fill and base course, drainage and concrete paving. Nominated by Devin Grégoire.
  • Kayla Lockhart Johnson, Denham Springs resident and Livingston Parish realtor, specializing in new residential developments and home build sales. She sits on numerous industry boards and associations. Nominated by Jan Benton.
  • Scott Jones, Walker resident and owner and operator of Jones Signs and DigiClem Outdoor Media. He was a member of the Livingston Parish Home Rule Charter Commission in 2014, which proposed revisions to the parish’s original charter. Nominated by Kellee Hennessy Dickerson.
  • Tab Lobell, a Springfield resident, former member of the Livingston Parish Council and director of Lobell’s Waterfront Construction. He served as a reserve officer in the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and coached a community youth organization. Nominated by Bo Graham.
  • Brian McCaskill, Livingston resident and regional sales manager at RelaDyne LLC, which specializes in the automotive, commercial and industrial industries. Nominated by Brad Sharp.
  • Randy Smith, resident of Denham Springs since 1960 and registered tax preparer recognized by the IRS. He is president of Smith Accounting and has owned a business for 36 years in Denham Springs. He is an auditor accountant for several government entities in the parish, and specializes in reviewing financial reports to ensure records are accurate and filed in a timely manner. Nominated by Brad Harris.

Newly appointed trustees are to hold their inaugural meeting at 5:00 p.m. on October 24 at the school board office premises.

According to the legislative statute that allows for the creation of local districts, a minimum of five members must serve and appointed members must serve six-year terms.

The Louisiana Legislature passed a law in 2011 allowing all school districts to create districts in an effort to address local funding shortages for their basic needs. Livingston Parish Schools created the local district to address low pay in all positions in the system, which is hampering efforts by district leaders to retain and hire qualified employees.

According to a May state auditor’s report, schools in Livingston rank last in the greater Baton Rouge metro area for average teacher salary compared to parishes in Ascension, East Baton Rouge, ‘Iberville, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana, as well as the parishes of Zachary and Central. community school districts, according to a news release. The same goes for other staffing positions in the district, such as custodians, food service workers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, and administrative staff.

At the same time, taxpayers in Livingston Parish pay the lowest ad valorem taxes per student compared to the same neighboring parishes. Taxpayers in Livingston Parish pay $722 per student, while the next lowest-ranked district receives $2,021 per student. The district in the region that receives the most ad valorem taxes per student is the parish of Iberville with $9,712 per student.

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