Ville Platte- The Evangeline Parish School Board, Wednesday, has joined with at least twenty other school districts in the state to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality and legality of Act 2 of the Louisiana Legislature.
Act 2 calls for state funds to be used in support of students in private and parochial schools and calls for such allocations of public funds to be made directly to those non public schools. Board Attorney Robert Hammonds said Act 2 “is an apparent violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article One, Section 8 of the Louisiana Constitution.”
Parish Administrator Darwin Lazard said “At stake is $200 million dollars that could be moved to private and parochial schools. Only Union Parish has decided not to publicly oppose Act 2.”
The school board also moved to file an injunction against the state to be removed from retirement penalties in the amount of $270,000 as a result of the state’s plans to privatize the school retirement system.
In other business, the school board discussed a policy proposal to mandate that all parish coaches must have a CDL license as a condition of employment. Vice President Jerry Thompson, who is supporting the proposal, said it will save the board on substitute pay. The policy proposal would give coaches until August 2013 to get their CDL to remain employed with the school district.
The school board asked its attorney to make a study on the legality of the proposed policy and report back to the policy committee.
In other action the school board:
--received news that health insurance rates are going down beginning in August. The board will save about 7 percent, a savings of $301,000 while the employee share will be going down as well;
--received news that due to the budget impasse in Congress, the school district could see up to 9.1 percent in reductions in federal funding in January;
--approved the contract renewal for Pine Prairie High School Assistant Principal Delores Fontenot for another two year term;
--due to the July 4 holiday, there will only be one school board meeting in July and that will be on July 18.