St. Helena Parish passes items for schools, teachers

GREENSBURG, LA (WAFB) - Two items voters have knocked down several times before in St. Helena Parish has finally passed in the November 2012 election.

Two proposals were on the ballot: one a bond, the other a millage increase. One will give teachers about a $6,000 pay raise. The other will go toward paying for school construction.

The millage tax would mean renovations to the schools; not just painting, but gutting the schools and making it like new. That would mean students at the high school get a real library. What's there now is mostly classroom text books, with only two shelves holding books that can be checked out.

For a $200,000 home, that would mean an additional $322 in property taxes per year.

In October, Superintendent Joseph said the library would also be turned into a multimedia room.

"Bottom line is that it means a lot for our kids. They are finally going to get the facilities they need to learn properly, and our teachers are finally going to get a competitive salary. And that is so important to retain our teachers. Those were the two main areas we needed to address when we got district accreditation. We are now able to have the resources we need to build the right facilities, and the money we need to retain our teachers. I'm just excited!" said Dr. Kelli Joseph, Superintendent of St. Helena Parish Schools.

St. Helena has been identified by the Louisiana Department of Education as number one in the state for academic growth. More students are improving and meeting state standards and more teachers in the classrooms are certified.

"Being the most improved district in the state, getting accreditation, going out and seeking grants, we are getting the right people in and doing the right thing for our children. We gained the confidence we needed for them to vote yes," said Joseph.

"We will not let the community down. Our children will grow, and we will become the best district in the state of Louisiana!" said Joseph

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