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BOE puts technology initiative on hold

LINDEN &8212; After voting in December to pursue a technology initiative to update and integrate all Marengo County Schools to a modern technology system, Superintendent Luke Hallmark announced the system is putting off the project at the board meeting Thursday.

The program, which is estimated to cost $1.9 million, was being partially funded by both federal and state sources, with only 13 percent of the total cost of the five-year plan to be paid by the school system.

Hallmark said they received word a state department initiative grant to go toward the project was not fully funded, which prompted he and technology coordinator Jana Hoggle to pursue other options.

One option, Hallmark said, is to combine some grant funds in order to make up the difference in the lost funds.

School searches

Hallmark also reported the system has recently recruited the services of Interquest Detection Canine Inc. based out of Demopolis, which is a canine search service designed to locate and eventually eradicate illegal substances on school grounds.

At one of the Marengo County Schools, which Hallmark did not name, the canines did find an alcoholic beverage can in a vehicle on school premises.

Scholarship funds

There are a number of programs being offered by the state encouraging students to apply for scholarships in order to pursue higher education. Just one of those groups, the School Superintendent Association, has funds available to help defer the cost of college, Hallmark said.

At least one student, a graduate of AL Johnson, applied for and received the scholarship, which he is using to pursue his studies at the University of Montevallo.

Another scholarship opportunity is the state&8217;s teacher recruitment program, which uses scholarship money as an incentive to get students to pursue higher education in the critical learning areas of math and science.

Some of the scholarships, according to Hallmark, are large enough to cover a significant portion of the costs associated with college.

Financial audit report

As required every fiscal year, the school system underwent an audit of their finances. According to Hallmark, the audit report for fiscal year 2007 was a good one. Although there were some minor findings, Hallmark said he was pleased with the results of the report.

In other business,

the board:

approved the 2008-2009 calendar

approved financial reports for January

approved bank statement reconciliations fro January

approved joint copier paper bid

approved contract revision