AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish School Board effectively killed a proposed timetable for considering revisions to the district’s desegregation plan Tuesday by voting to delay the discussion until the next meeting.
Board member Brett Duncan has questioned the need to build $54.5 million worth of new schools, as specified in the court-approved desegregation plan. Voluntary desegregation through the district’s magnet programs has been more successful than the board anticipated, and the new schools will add financial strain, he said.
However, the introduction of Duncan’s resolution to consider other options met with opposition Tuesday night, when other board members said they would rather discuss the matter in executive session or delay voting until they could review the data.
“The resolution wasn’t sent out until this afternoon, and it’s pushing a very important issue real quick-like and I have a problem with that,” board member Al Link said.
Link argued that board members did not have enough time to consider all the relevant information, receive guidance from their desegregation attorneys and hear from central office staff and the superintendent.
Duncan asserted that delaying a vote on the resolution, which would establish a timeline for considering revisions to the plan, would effectively kill the resolution altogether.
The board voted 6-3 to delay consideration of the resolution until the Oct. 2 meeting.
Other issues coming before the board included:
DESEGREGATION INJUNCTION: After an hourlong executive session, the board voted 7-2 to ask U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle to enjoin the provisions of Act 2 of the 2012 legislative session that conflict with the court’s mandates in the district’s desegregation suit.
Board members Brett Duncan and Sandra Simmons voted against, saying they had agreed in executive session to ask for an injunction only as to the parts of Act 2 dealing with the voucher program and related state funding tied to the students participating in that program.
ISAAC MAKEUP: Superintendent Mark Kolwe said a district survey of teachers found that the vast majority would prefer to add five instructional minutes at the end of each school day and one day of classes at the end of the school year to make up for days missed due to Hurricane Isaac.
The other option presented was to reduce the district’s Mardi Gras break from five days to three, but teachers soundly rejected that option, Kolwe said.