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.”
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
SEP 2 North Carolina's film tax incentive is about to expire, and Louisiana is getting the first benefit, this story on the Wilmington NC newspaper's website tells us. 'Banshee,' a Cinemax series from the same guy who created 'True Blood,' is moving production to New Orleans, the story says.
SEP 2 The Washington Post calls Bobby Jindal on his latest effort to get his name in the national media. In this editorial, the newspaper says Jindal's Common Core lawsuits are just aimed at "burnishing his conservative credentials for a presidential run." The paper, of course, reminds its readers that Jindal was a staunch supporter of the curriculum back when he first brought it to Louisiana.
SEP 2 Huff Post takes a look at a project by a California university which mapped hate speech on Twitter. The project counted derogatory words for homosexuals, people of different races and people with disabilities, then used colors to show where the tweets using these words originated. Spoiler alert: We don't look too good.
SEP 2 Blogger Lamar White Jr. offers this commentary on Bobby Jindal's recent comments about the current US policy toward ISIS. Jindal's sudden, shrill interest in the subject can only be attributed to his desperate desire to be president, Lamar opines. All this begs the question: Do we really want someone in the White House who is willing to say anything to get what he wants?
SEP 2 St. Mary Parish homegirl Julie Hébert lets us in on the next step in her career in this blog post. The writer/director, who has worked on shows like ER, West Wing, Numb3rs and Third Watch, has teamed up with John Ridley, the Academy Award winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave, for a new ABC series that will be filmed in Austin.
SEP 2 Here's another round of crazy on the Scott Rogers shooting from the Advocate. The Baton Rouge television personality was killed last week by his son-in-law (and alleged sexual abuse victim) who then turned the gun on himself. The story gets worse and worse.
SEP 2 This post on Deadline Hollywood outlines the massive tax incentive package passed by the California legislature last week. As one California solon put it, the move is a response to years of seeing movie and TV work "cannibalized by states and other countries poaching tens of thousands of good California jobs." Hey -- is he talking about us?
SEP 2 This photo essay on the NOLA Femmes blog examines homelessness in New Orleans. There are pictures of familiar intersections which look very different during tourist events than they do no a normal day in the city, and an account of the issue since Katrina. The post makes a good point: When the city rousts homeless people the day before a tourist event but calls it a "health issue," the claim rings false, doesn't it?
AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly