|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
LISD changes drug policy, sets tax rate
BY BRIAN BESCH
The Livingston ISD Board of Trustees met in a special meeting Monday to approve amendments to its drug testing policy. The policy, already one of the area's toughest, expanded in a unanimous vote from 75 tests to 100. Eighty high school students and 20 junior high students will be tested per round. Tests are given nine times throughout the school year. Nicotine will not be tested this year, as Livingston was the only district to do so last year. They are one of few that tests for alcohol, in addition to banned substances. Last year, there were 293 junior high and 520 high school students eligible for drug testing. Of those 328 were student drivers. Of the 813 eligible, 699 were drug tested. Thirty-six were found to have drugs in their system, 23 positive tests and 13 with trace amounts. Fifty high school students and 25 at the junior high level were randomly selected per test. Students testing positive are subject to testing for the next nine drug tests. Suspension from activities for a first offense is 10 days, while a second offense carries a 20-day suspension. One year is the suspension if a third test is failed. The board approved the new tax rate for 2013-2014, which remain at $1.04 per $100 in value for maintenance and operations (M&O)and 35.5 cents for debt service. The M&O is the capped rate for the district since the state's tax reform act of 2006. The board also has voted to approve the 2013-2014 budget, with general fund revenue and expenses of $31,558,696. Debt service was $4,850,000. All LISD staff got a 3 to 5 percent raise as part of the budget approved Monday. There will be another special session held Friday at 7:30 a.m. to finalize approvals on a gymnasium and locker rooms for the new elementary on Church Street.