ST. FRANCISVILLE — The West Feliciana Parish School Board accepted a $160,000 federal grant Tuesday for upgrading the school system’s health clinic.

Bridget Plauche, director of the district’s Family Services Center — which includes the clinic — said the money will be used for much needed improvements.

With shrinking federal outlays, the parish is fortunate to obtain the one-time grant, Plauche said.

Part of the money will be used to update the equipment used by doctors and nurses who see students in the facility, while some will be used to renovate the building, she said.

West Feliciana Parish has had a school-based health center since the early 1990s.

The board also renewed an agreement with the Capital Area Human Services District and the Baton Rouge Mental Health Center, which provide mental health counselors to the school system several days a week without charge.

During periods of crisis, the district provides valuable services to the schools, Supervisor Al Lemoine said.

Other topics covered by the School Board included:

PROPERTY TAXES: The board set property tax millages for 2011 at the same rate as last year: 4.46 mills as is allowed by the state constitution, 14.75 mills for general school support, 3.75 mills for teacher and employee salaries and 11 mills for general support that voters approved in a 2010 election.

Finance Director Helen Davis said 2 mills each also will be collected to pay principal and interest on two bond issues that were approved in 1997 and 2002.

PUBLIC SCHOOL COALITION: St. Tammany Parish School Board President Stephen J. Loupe III urged his West Feliciana counterparts to support a new Coalition for Louisiana Public Education, which, he said, was formed to counteract the gradual privatization of Louisiana schools.

Loupe charged that Gov. Bobby Jindal and an array of interest groups, including out-of-state and foreign corporations, have hurt public education for the past several years, pushing programs “that have not accomplished anything.”

He said the coalition will soon endorse candidates for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“We’ll be trying to get (BESE’s) 6-5 votes going 6-5 the other way,” he said.

Jindal also has endorsed a slate of candidates.