Oxford schools approve $2.1M bond issuance
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Nov 19, 2013 | 3869 views |  0 comments | 82 82 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OXFORD — The Oxford school district Tuesday joined several other districts in taking a portion of the state’s $23 million pool set aside to lend to public school systems, making Oxford schools $2.1 million richer in the process.

The school board voted at Tuesday’s meeting to receive a lump sum rather than $160,000 from the state for capital projects each year for 20 years.

Taking the money all at once means the funds won’t be susceptible to proration, explained Superintendent Jeff Goodwin.

Robby Jordan, the school system’s chief financial officer, explained that the system is giving up about $1 million over the course of 20 years to get a lump sum payment now.

“We’ve got to pay interest on the loan,” Jordan said. “It’s really a good deal because we don’t have to go out and issue bonds like we’d do if we wanted to do it ourselves ... everything’s done at the state level. The state’s borrowing the money, but we’re borrowing from the state.”

The money is not earmarked for particular construction projects, said Roy Bennett, student service coordinator for Oxford schools, but several building projects are on the horizon. The money could be used for any one of them, Bennett said.

During today's meeting the board also held a public hearing to get parents’ feedback on the district’s decision to keep the current school calendar for another year.

For the last two years Oxford’s schools have opted to use several school days each year as professional development days for teachers.

State law will change next year, however, requiring public schools to operate on a 180 school-day calendar, Goodwin said. The district is considering applying for a waiver to continue the adjusted schedule next year.

Several parents told the board during the hearing that they like the current calendar, which allows for more breaks during the year and keeps kids in school until 3 p.m.

One such Oxford High student was honored by the board today, Kayla Hicks. The board recognized the athlete for being selected as a 2013 U.S. Paralympics High School Track and Field All-American.

Oxford High principal Chris Cox said the district was excited to learn Hicks was chosen for the honor, becoming one of 55 in the nation selected as All-Americans.

“I’ve been in education and coached for 19 years,” Cox said, adding that Hicks is the first student he’s had selected as a national All-American

In other business, the board:

- Recognized Oxford High physical education teacher and Key Club sponsor Dana Webb as receiving the “Partnership of the Year” award from the greater Calhoun County Area Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.

Approved a revision of the school district’s policy on enrollment of homeless, migrant and immigrant students and students for whom English is a second language.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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