Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator is giving the Lafayette Parish School System an ultimatum: Commit to building new schools in Youngsville by the end of the summer, or else ...
“I’m not threatening anybody, but I feel if I don’t do something about the schools, then I’m not doing my job,” Viator said Thursday during a phone interview with The Advertiser. “Pulling out the school system is a last-resort alternative, but if the school system doesn’t get off their can and start building some schools in Youngsville, then I’m going to pursue that.”
Viator told both dailies Thursday that overcrowding in Youngsville’s three schools is a critical issue that needs immediate attention, an assertion LPSS Superintendent Pat Cooper does not contest. According to The Advocate, more than half of the classrooms for the 900 students at Green T. Lindon Elementary School are housed in portable buildings, while Ernest Gallet Elementary teaches almost 1,200 students in a school built for 750.
But if Viator’s threat to breakaway from the Lafayette Parish School System was sincerely a “last-resort” for much-needed new schools, then why did he first float the idea several weeks ago at the Youngsville Chamber of Commerce banquet instead of addressing the problem directly with Cooper and the Lafayette Parish School Board?
Youngsville has established itself as a flourishing white-flight destination in Lafayette Parish, and the timing of Viator’s remarks comes amid heated debate in the state Legislature over breakaway school districts in East Baton Rouge Parish, where predominately white communities like Central have successfully seceded from the East Baton Rouge Parish School System in recent years. Coincidence?
Cooper has committed to finding a fix for the overcrowding problem, according to the dailies, which may include using some of the $30 million in bonds that was slated for Thibodaux Tech High School. And if Youngsville were to move forward with plans to break away from LPSS, it would take a two-thirds vote of the Legislature next year and voter approval of a Constitutional Amendment.
As Red Stick Forward writer Slater McKay notes in a column published on The Political Desk website, “if the Legislature accelerates these breakaway districts to the point of having an overabundance of local school districts that are surprisingly homogenous by choice, there’s a good chance the federal government will step in to remind us (once again) of the difference between Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education.”
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OCT 30 If you're a Louisiana native of (ahem) a certain age, you might have fond (or fuzzy, as the case may be) memories of a Zebra concert and singing "Who's Behind the Door" until your ears rang. This post on NOLA Defender profiles the leader of that band, Randy Jackson.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 If you're not obsessed with the Texas governor's race - what's wrong with you? Here's another installment, from our own IND contributor Lamar White Jr., who explains why Wendy's "infamous" wheelchair ad was a shock to the national media - but not to anyone familiar with Greg Abbott's record.
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 Blogger Crazy Crawfish is taking aim at state Superintendent John White again, this time for comments White made recently, claiming that there is no real opposition to Common Core in Louisiana. Crawfish is documenting proof to the contrary here, and lays down the gauntlet to "mainstream news media." (Don't hold your breath on that one, buddy.)
OCT 30 Gambit covers Advocate publisher John Georges' recent visit to Loyola in this post. Georges touches on how things are going in this new gig, what he thinks about the Pic's decision to move printing to Alabama, and how he feels about his political campaigns.
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
OCT 30 BESE member Lottie Beebe pens this letter to the editor of the Advocate about the state Department of Education. The DOE isn't exempt from the state public records law, and because of recent lawsuits she tried to require regular reports about how many requests had been made to the department and how many remained unanswered. She wasn't successful.
OCT 29 Manny Schewitz blogs on Forward Progressives about recent Facebook posts from David Vitter, including one that purports to take you to a petition to stop Ebola (say what?) but actually signs you up for his newsletter or campaign email list or some such nonsense. Dave must think we're dummies, Manny says -- and Dave's probably right.
OCT 29 Usually, the copy on Red Shtick is satire. But in this post "from the publisher," we get a pretty astute political analysis of Edwin Edwards' charisma and old-school populist swagger. Edwards isn't concealing billionaire backers, or trying to make his opponent out to be "Satan," the post says. He's just running. Huh; imagine that.
OCT 29 Salon's Elias Isquith writes this fairly hilarious commentary on a National Review post about Bobby Jindal's attempts to "beef up" in preparation for a presidential run. But it's not just funny; Isquith seems to have Bobby's number, commenting on how the Gov "and his team are hopelessly ensconced in the Tea Party bubble."
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