Lafayette School Board Discusses Goals For Coming School Year
The Lafayette Parish School Board met briefly Thursday night to discuss its focus for the 2014-2015 school year.
Superintendent Pat Cooper said he’d like to see better cooperation between the board and himself and a focus on increasing revenues for the district.
“If you don’t get money to do the things that we’re saying to do, then I don’t think it’s fair to say that I failed at something if I’ve given you some things to do and you don’t fund them,” Cooper said.
"To say that it’s unreasonable to ask the staff and superintendent to operate within that revenue — I don’t think is unreasonable."
Board member Greg Awbrey retorted that the district would be better off figuring out how to function within its means.
“To say that it’s unreasonable to ask the staff and superintendent to operate within that revenue — I don’t think is unreasonable,” Awbrey said.
Tommy Angelle said he’s also opposed to asking Lafayette Parish voters for more money.
“I think that if we can show the public that we’re responsible with the tax money, and that were not living above our means, then that’s one way in which we can project an air of confidence and due diligence with their money,” Angelle said.
Board member Shelton Cobb suggested the board renew its focus on the Turnaround Plan. He also suggested improving maintenance and upkeep of the district’s aging facilities, as well as upgrading technology within the school system — regardless of whether or not Common Core is further implemented in Louisiana.
“We still need the technology if our students are to compete,” Cobb said.
Rae Trahan recommended a focus on closing the achievement gap between white and minority students, along with measurable goals like raising test scores and improving graduation rates. Kermit Bouillion recommended Cooper become a more visible advocate for the board.
Kathleen Espinoza, a candidate for Awbrey’s District 6 seat, suggested the board adopt a policy pertaining to charter schools.
This is the first time the board has met with the superintendent to discuss its goals, a requirement of Cooper’s contract. The board will vote on whether to adopt tonight’s proposals at its regular meeting June 16.
Board members Tehmi Chassion and Mark Allen Babineaux were absent.