School board approves sale of $1.9 million in bonds

By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer

The Portales Municipal Schools Board of Education has approved the issuance and sale of $1.9 million of general obligation school bonds, which are intended to finance roof repairs at Portales High School as top priority.

The board voted unanimously for the measure at their meeting Tuesday in the district administration building.

“We have some definite needs for new roofs at the high school main building and gym,” Superintendent Randy Fowler said.

After the roofs were taken care of, Fowler said, the district had some other uses for the money.

Al Clemmons of George K. Baum and Co., which handles the district’s bonds sales, said this sale is the third of four expected to happen over four years, with the last sale planned for next year. The four sales are to put out a total of $9.5 million in bonds, as voters have authorized, he said.

In a month, when the bonds are expected to sell, Clemmons said he expects the interest rate to be less than 3.5 percent for the district’s repayment of the bonds.

“There are always purchasers available for Portales bonds,” he told the board. “That’s indicative of the way you do business.”

In other business, the board:

• approved the adoption of Macmillan/McGraw Hill textbooks for kindergarten through eighth-grade language arts and reading, and the adoption of McDougal Littell textbooks for seventh- and eighth-grade language arts, reading and Spanish.

• recognized board members Alan Garrett and Inez Rodriguez for receiving Exemplary Board Member awards at the recent New Mexico School Boards Association annual conference.

• recognized Garrett for receiving the Master Board Member title, which requires the title seeker to complete an application, take a number of courses and do several other tasks chosen from a list. Garrett wrote articles and presented at the state school boards association conference.

• recognized Portales students Alex Nunez and Carl Linker for wining gold medals in a recent Special Olympics bowling competition.

• approved a memorandum of understanding supporting the state Public Education Department in its application for a federal Race to the Top grant. Fowler said if the district didn’t like the outcome of the state’s application, it could opt out.

• approved revised policies for staff leave in various situations and the revised Individuals with Disabilities Education Act policies and procedures manual.

• voted to accept donations from Wal-Mart, Southside Church of Christ, JD Heiskell Holdings LLC and Qwest for Education.