NEW IBERIA — Renaming Johns Hopkins Elementary will have to wait until another meeting, after the Iberia Parish School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to table discussion.
The push to rename Johns Hopkins Elementary School came to the School Board’s attention after staff from the university of the same name asked local officials to stop using it.
School Board legal adviser Wayne Landry said school system officials hope to settle the matter quickly between the two organizations.
Landry said the Johns Hopkins University legal adviser contacted him after the Daily Iberian newspaper asked the Baltimore university’s staff about the legality of using the name.
The Johns Hopkins Elementary School was named after Hopkins Street and Johnston Street elementary schools were consolidated into one new building on Hopkins Street last year.
Landry said he spoke with Johns Hopkins University legal adviser Phil Roberts Aug. 6 about the issue and Roberts requested that the Iberia Parish school system stop using the name.
Landry said in a letter dated the same day that he would bring the matter to the School Board’s attention.
He said Johns Hopkins University owns the name and can force the issue in court if it wants, adding that it shouldn’t come to that.
Superintendent Dale Henderson said the School Board may take up the issue at a later meeting.
Other items discussed during the meeting included:
MANDATED CHANGES: The board voted unanimously to approve three agenda items that change the system of evaluating teachers, school system policy manual and job descriptions of five school system positions.
The changes were made in response to Bulletin 130, a directive issued to all public school systems in Louisiana in response to mandates under Act 1 passed during the 2012 legislative session.
Henderson said the school system worked months to compile the changes to their evaluation plan and policy manual so that they could be ready for the beginning of the school year, which started Aug. 10.
SALES TAXES: The board also learned that sales tax collections in July topped $2.6 million.
That is more than $300,000 more than last year’s sales tax collections that were $2.3 million.
Parish tax collector Patrick Segura said sales were up in all business sectors last month.
He added that motor vehicle sales have been rising for the last 18 months.