Schools to buy TV gear to film meetings|[4/28/06]

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 28, 2006

The Vicksburg Warren School District will incorporate a plan to purchase its own video equipment for coverage of board meetings, school functions and sporting events to air on the district’s cable access Channel 17, the Board of Trustees decided Thursday.

Dr. James Price, superintendent, said the equipment will cost about $20,000, which will come from funds already set aside.

&#8220We can use our ‘rainy day’ funds for this,” Price said. &#8220It’s something that will be worthwhile and beneficial for all involved.”

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The decision came after a short debate on whether to pay the City of Vicksburg $15,000 for RCTV’s service of filming and airing the monthly board meetings for the upcoming year.

The government access cable station started in 2000 as a way to broadcast what goes on in local government and has now grown to offer a wide range of programs to entertain and educate viewers in Vicksburg and Warren County.

&#8220If I’m going to spend that much money, I want to spend it on something that will benefit our children. I see this as a good training ground for our children,” said Zelmarine Murphy, District 2 trustee.

Price said the software that would be purchased would be similar to that of CNN with the ticker tape at the bottom of the screen to make announcements.

&#8220I just think it’s the best decision we could make. We can look into using it as a teaching tool in the high schools to expose students to media learning,” he said.

The five-member board voted unanimously to accept the proposal.

&#8220I think the opportunities are endless. The public needs to know where to find information, and we should definitely go that route,” said district 1 trustee Jerry Boland.

The board also approved the purchase of 10 new school buses for about $600,000, which would come from EEF funds and district money that has been reimbursed from Hurricane Katrina.

&#8220The state recommends every district has buses 10 years or newer. We currently have 48 1988 models that we bought in 1998. By updating our fleet, we would be able to use the older models for spare parts,” said David Keen, transportation supervisor.

Price said the district has bought six new buses in the past two years, and the request for 10 is part of a long-term plan to buy 10 a year to keep within the state’s recommendations.

This year’s purchase would include two 84-passenger buses, two 53-passenger handicap-accessible buses and six 71-passenger buses.

In other meeting business, the board: