School Board

Although independent locally, Lafayette Parish School Board must follow many federal and state mandates. It is the designated sales tax collector for all of Lafayette Parish.

Nine School Board members are elected from single districts #1-9. In 2006 the voters of Lafayette Parish approved term limits of three consecutive four-year terms, beginning January, 2007.

Qualifications for running as a candidate for the School Board are
  • being at least 18 years old
  • have lived at least one year prior to the election in the district for which is running
  • a resident of Louisiana for at least the two years prior to the election
By law School Board members are paid for part-time during their term of office and do not receive any benefits other than they may participate in the District's health insurance program. 

I. Power

The parish school boards were created by the Legislature as required by the Louisiana Constitution to make public education available to all residents of the parish.

The Lafayette Parish School Board appoints the Superintendent of the Lafayette Parish School System, with the assistance of the Personnel Department in the application process.   By law the School Board elects a President and Vice-President annually and the Superintendent serves as the Secretary of the Board. By current School Board practice the Superintendent serves as chief executive of the Board, its educational adviser, and its secretary-treasurer.

Individual members of the School Board serve on the Board's standing committees:  the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Facilities Committee.  Advisory groups to the School Board include regular and ad hoc committees that make recommendations to the Board about the school calendar, discipline, the Pupil Progression Plan, employees' health insurance, and system-wide policies under consideration, etc.

The School Board in general has final approval for the work of the Lafayette Parish School System: 

In the Area of Personnel, the School Board

  • considers and acts on school staffing policies and operations from the Superintendent and other professional staff, School Board members, or the public

In the Area of Students, the School Board

  • develops policies and procedures for school administration, their education program, and provision for adequacy of the buildings and equipment as initiated by the Superintendent, staff, and others
  • provides transportation for children living more than one mile to school
  • provides support for professional improvement of teachers and other employees

In the Area of School Facilities, the School Board

  • contracts with providers to recommend  attendance areas and school boundaries and approves any changes
  • ensures maintenance of school facilities
  • acts upon recommendations to appoint architects and/or engineers to design new schools and/or renovations of existing buildings

In the Area of Finance, the School Board

  • provides personnel and facilities for the collection of sales taxes for all Lafayette Parish governing bodies
  • adopts an annual budget whose approval is required by the State Superintendent of Education
  • places propositions for sales and property  taxes and renewal of taxes on the ballot in order to provide adequate instruction, facilities and equipment
  • expropriates property according to law for school purposes when necessary
  • files or defends against lawsuits

In the Area of Instruction

The School Board must ensure the Lafayette Parish School System provides instruction in all curriculum areas and provides oversight as required by

  • Bulletins of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • regulations of the State Department of Education
  • rules of the State Superintendent of Education
  • requirements of the federal legislation, No Child Left Behind emphasizing School and District Performance Scores
  • State Bond and Tax Board requirements
II. Services

The scope of the School Board's oversight responsibility for the students and the School System is large in providing education for more than 30,000 students in the Lafayette public schools, one of the larger public school systems in Louisiana.  The School Board is by far the largest single employer, public or private, in Lafayette Parish.

Direct Instruction Services:
  • pre-kindergarten  through grades  in all curricular areas, supported by technology and library/media centers
  • French, Spanish, and Chinese Immersion, career, technology, health, financial, and art Schools of Choice academies
  • Programs spanning across 42 campuses
  • library/media centers 
  • services for students who qualify with particular needs
  • tutoring programs
  • special education instruction and related services (special transportation, speech therapy, occupation and physical therapy, orientation and mobility instruction for students with visual impairment  if required by student evaluation)
  • services for students identified as dyslexic or Section 504
  • instruction in English as a second language
  • homebound instruction for students with medical problems
  • alternative school placement for students who have been removed from a regular campus for sufficient discipline reason
  • virtual learning programs

Beyond direct instruction, the School Board addresses student welfare for learning through:

  • student health services, including school nurses
  • professional school counselors
  • Louisiana Safe and Supportive Schools Initiative (LSSSI) as part of school discipline at each school
  • substance abuse prevention
  • accomodations for homeless children and their families
  • individual student evaluation as necessary

The School Board provides busing to and from school and offers two meals daily in the schools.

Interagency agreements for services
include a multi-parish consortium for students with visual or  hearing impairments and maintenance of the School Resource Officers with the Lafayette City-Parish Government and other municipalities.

The Sheriff, Police Departments, District Attorney, and District judges work closely with the School Board and staff on security, discipline, and truancy issues.

The current and future direction
of the School Board is documented through the  AdvancEd, School and District Performance Scores, 10-year Technology Plan, Annual Budget the annual Comprehensive Financial Report, and the 5-year review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation,

III. Money

Income from government funds, FY2013-2014:

federal 10.2%
state 35.8%
parish property tax 18.1%
parish sales tax 34.2%
other (summer school tuition, interest, and rental income) 1.7%

 
 Expenses, FY 2009-2010:

Direct Instruction 53.1%
Support Services 34.7%
Food Services 4.6%
Facilities Acquisition & Construction 4.4%
Debt Service & Other 3.2%

Lafayette Parish School Board’s meetings are public and advertised with at least 24 hours notice and posted on its online calendar.  Its regular meetings are broadcast live by Acadiana Community Media and are available for viewing several times in the same week.  Agendas, agenda materials, and minutes are available online.



Sources

Lafayette Parish School Board Policies available online at http//:www.lpssonline.com

Lafayette Parish School Board Divisions available online at http://www.lpssonline.com

Louisiana Department of Education website: http://www.louisianaschools.net/

Constitution of Louisiana

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended June 30, 2010
, Lafayette Parish School System: http://www.lpssonline.com/uploads/CAFR2010.pdf

"Lafayette Parish School System Proposed Five-Year Desegregation Plan, 2004-2009," Dr. James Easton, Superintendent

School Board Minutes, August 2, 5:30 Regular Meeting

Interview with Matthew Dugas, CPA, Director of Finance, Lafayette Parish School System

E-mails to Katherine Landry, Deputy Superintendent, Lafayette Parish School System

"Everybody's Schools: Addressing the Immediate and Long-Term Facilities Needs of Lafayette Parish Public Schools," League of Women Voters of Lafayette, November 6, 2007, available online at lwv-lafayette.org

"State of Our Schools, Community Coalition for Lafayette Schools, Sarah Walker, Chair, 2008, available online at lwv-lafayette.org

 Economic Profile Report, June, 2015, Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA).

Staff review and update with R. C., "Jo Craig, Chief Administrative Officer, Lafayette Parish School System, August, 2015


Updated September, 2015

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