BAKER — The Baker School Board voted 3-1 Tuesday to transfer the district’s athletic director duties from Gary Mitchell to the vacant post of head football coach.
Robert Raines, who had been Baker High’s football coach, turned in his resignation last month.
Board members Elaine Davis, Dana Carpenter and Shona Boxie voted for the measure. Doris Alexander cast the dissenting vote. Board member Troy Watson was absent.
In a letter to Superintendent Ulysses Joseph and the board, East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers President Carnell Washington stated the organization’s belief that the board has been making hiring and placement decisions in violation of state law. The letter cited Mitchell’s case.
During the meeting, Washington said that he didn’t dispute the board’s right to make the decision, but stated that the organization wanted to make sure that the process was “up front, onboard and clear.”
Alexander asked who made the recommendation to strip Mitchell of his athletic director duties.
“You said at the last meeting that it was not your recommendation and Ms. Morgan said it wasn’t hers either,” she said to Joseph, referring to Baker High School Principal Traci Morgan.
“We need to move on. So I will take full responsibility,” Joseph said.
Alexander then asked why the recommendation was made.
“Coaches serve at the pleasure of the principal and the superintendent,” Joseph said.
In another personnel matter, Darla Lawson resigned as principal of Bakerfield Elementary School, effective June 4.
Since the May 22 board meeting, 14 teachers from schools throughout the district have announced their resignations.
Other matters before the board included:
MILLAGE ADOPTION: The board voted 4-0 to “roll forward” millage rates from 4.8 mills for the millage required by the state constitution and 36.7 mills for the voter-approved special school maintenance rate to 5 mills and 38.3 mills respectively.
According to state law, municipalities can increase millage rates if assessment shows property values have increased. The rate cannot exceed the maximum rate of the previous year.
Attorney Brandon DeCuir explained the increase will result in an additional $71,000 in revenue for the school system in 2012. The total amount generated in property taxes for the district will be $2 million, he said.