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story.lead_photo.caption Maintenance department workers who School Superintendent John Ward said work out in the heat on some Magnolia School District’s more than 400 air conditioners were recognized Monday night. These workers are also not recognized nearly enough for the hard work they do on some buildings that date back to 1960. Pictured (left to right) are: Robert Rudd, Hunter Harrel and Ricky Lee. Keith Gairich was not pictured. - Photo by Becky Bell

The Magnolia School Board unanimously approved the 2019-2020 budget including special education funds Monday night.

Carol Longino, business manager, said the projected revenue budget for the district is $43.7 million while the expenditure budget is $44.5 million. The special education budget 2019-2020 Title VI-B Federal Maintenance of Effort is $2 million.

According to Longino, included in federal salaries are five resource and special class teachers, one special education secretary and .50 special education supervisor, one speech therapist and eight aides.

Included in the maintenance effort are 14 teachers, aides and other support as well as one speech therapist.

Purchased services include psychological testing, occupational and physical therapy. Supplies include general office items as well as various testing forms for use in evaluations.

The board also unanimously approved a $94,400 camera system installation at Central Elementary main building and cafeteria.

“These cameras have proven themselves to be invaluable,” Superintendent John Ward said.

The board also approved cameras for the new support service building for a total of $22,335.

In other business, the board heard reports from principals from all five of the district’s campuses. Magnolia High School Principal Chris Carter told the board that the death of senior Kendrell Harris has caused everyone pause at the beginning of the year. Harris, an honor-roll student and member of the Magnolia Panther football team, died Aug. 24 in a car accident.

“Our kids are healing, our staff is healing,” he said.

However, there are good things going on at the school that students are enjoying, he said. This includes a new television production class, a music theory class and the addition of jazz band. Carter said there are 580 students in high school and many of these students participate in multiple extracurricular activities.

Central Elementary Principal Angela Waters told the board there was only days away before she would be in the new building.

“I have a key so watch out,” she said.

Walker Pre-Kindergarten Principal Natasha Coleman told the board she had 140 students with a waiting list of about 11 students. New improvements on campus include a musical playground and a shade awning. There will be a field trip to the Columbia County Fair on Sept. 20 board members are invited to take part in, she said.

“The word has spread about what a good education Walker Pre-K provides,” Mike Waters, board president said.

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