Ascension Parish School Board rejects charter application

The Ascension Parish School Board denied an application Tuesday for a charter school by Dumaka Moultrie, of Atlanta, following the recommendation of its consultant, Kimberly Williams, of New Millennium Education.

Williams said the proposed school, Life Preparatory Academy, had no board and the Atlanta group’s application was weak on concrete plans for curriculum.

No one from the public spoke at the hearing on the charter school application, and Moultrie wasn’t present.

On Sunday, backers of another proposed charter school, the R. Rayborn Charter School, withdrew their application for the time being.

Prior to the regular School Board meeting Tuesday, a group of Gonzales residents, who volunteer to mow, manicure and care for the athletic fields of area high schools, urged the board’s maintenance committee to look again at possibly installing artificial turf fields.

The School Board is looking into hiring four maintenance people, one for each high school, to help maintain the playing fields, as well as purchasing new lawn care equipment for the task.

Volunteer Glenn Robertson asked the committee to instead look at putting in artificial turf at the four high schools, which he said could save money in the long run.

At its regular meeting, board members voted unanimously to re-elect Troy Gautreau and Lorraine Wimberly as board president and vice president, respectively, for 2014.

After going into executive session with the board’s attorney, Jeff Diez, the School Board voted to give Superintendent Patrice Pujol the authority to take any actions she deems advisable in the matter of the recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Renaissance Orange Grove LLC.

The company is developer of the unfinished Orange Grove subdivision in Ascension Parish.

The Ascension Parish School Board is a creditor in the bankruptcy proceedings. Sorrento Primary School is on donated land in Orange Grove, and the School Board had to pay a $450,000 connection fee to bring water to the property.