BAKER — Whitney Bank Community Market President Steve Stein encouraged Baker School Board members Tuesday to become involved in economic development.
He also presented board members during their meeting the results of a survey of residents and businesses conducted by Baker as part of the city’s participation in the Louisiana Development Ready Communities program.
The goal is to assist the Louisiana Department of Economic Development in helping Baker recruit businesses, he said.
As co-chairman of that program, Stein said he is committed to improving Baker.
“I live here. This is important to me. We are going to bring businesses to town, but we need your help. We need the backing of education,” he said.
Stein added that the LDRC is planning another town hall meeting on education during the week of Oct. 18. He asked the board members to check their schedules and let him know when they would be available.
“We want to come up with a date so that everyone can come,” he said.
Doris Alexander was the only Baker School Board member to attend the LDRC Baker town hall education meeting on Sept. 13. Alexander is also a member of the steering committee for the Baker LDRC program.
“I want a better community and a better school district. I want businesses to come here and put money back into our community. The community is only as strong as the school system. We can bring students back. There is no reason students should want to leave (Baker) to go to school,” board member Troy Watson said.
“I challenge Mr. Stein and Whitney Bank to put a quarter of a million dollars for five years into the business program (in the Baker school district),” board member Dana Carpenter said.
“That’s quite a challenge. But you wouldn’t be asking for money if we had more businesses here,” Stein said.
Other matters included:
MAKEUP DAYS: The board unanimously approved a proposal to make up four instructional days lost during Hurricane Isaac. The plan calls for using the two contingency days of Dec. 20 and May 23, and adding six minutes to the school days from Oct. 3 until May 23.
Superintendent Ulysses Joseph said the extra minutes would be spread out throughout the day, rather than being tacked on at the end.