John Paul the Great Academy, a 5-year-old Catholic school that agreed this week to take in 64 voucher students from public schools, will be booted from its north Lafayette campus by June 30 if it can’t come up with the roughly $1 million needed to keep the school open.
Just days after John Paul the Great Academy excitedly jumped on board with the statewide voucher program and announced plans to take in 64 students from low-performing public schools next school year, the Catholic school is desperately trying to raise almost $1 million to avoid being booted from its campus.
John Paul Academy Headmaster Kevin Roberts says the school, currently housed at the De La Salle Christian Brothers campus on Carmel Drive, had long-planned to purchase the property on which it operates, but the benefactor who had committed to making the purchase backed out a day before the deal was supposed to close on May 16. The Christian Brothers have notified the school that it cannot remain on the property beyond June 30.
It was on May 17 that the school’s board voted to participate in the statewide voucher program, which funnels state dollars to private schools that take in students from low-performing public schools who meet certain income requirements.
“If we don’t succeed on staying on the property, we’ll find another location,” Roberts says. “Enrollment is strong, even without the voucher students. We have a lot of support and a lot of families who want to see this school open.”
KATC, in a Tuesday report on the voucher program, referred to John Paul the Great as one of the highest performing schools in the parish, though private schools are not subject to the accountability system of public schools and are not required to make public any data tied to the achievement of nonvoucher students.
“We are selective, selective on both religious grounds, someone has to be Catholic or Catholic friendly to come to the school, and be able to handle the academic rigor,” Roberts tells KATC in an interview Tuesday. “I look forward to having middle class families, trying to make ends meet, whose children deserve the best education they can get.”
Roberts, who also serves on the advisory board for the national conservative lobbying group Catholic Vote, says he was referencing the typical selections process of the school’s current student body, not the voucher students it plans to take in. The state Department of Education prohibits selective admissions for voucher students.
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.