Equity has never been a built-in component of consolidation when it comes to the cost of government in Lafayette Parish, and if City-Parish President Joey Durel is right, the “parish” part of consolidated government has sponged off the city of Lafayette to the tune of roughly $32 million since the parish and city governments merged in 1996. But in his budget address to the council last week, Durel indicated that the days of the city shouldering the burden for the parish should come to an end. Everyone in Lafayette Parish — in the unincorporated areas as well as the municipalities including Lafayette — is a parish resident and pays parish property taxes to fund the sheriff, jail, parish courthouse and infrastructure in rural Lafayette Parish. Currently the ratio for shouldering those costs is 84 percent (city) to 16 percent (parish). Durel wants the cost of services provided to unincorporated Lafayette Parish to reflect the parish’s population distribution: city residents would pay 54 percent of the cost; non city of Lafayette residents would pay 46 percent. This is an idea that’s long overdue — like 16 years overdue. Bravo, Joey!
Three low-performing Lafayette schools have joined the list of 180 schools across the state labeled academically unacceptable by the state Department of Education. Not unexpectedly, J.W. Faulk Elementary, Northside High and Alice Boucher Elementary schools received 2012 school performance scores of 65.1, 74.4 and 69.5, respectively. J.W. Faulk’s score is down two points over last year, while Alice Boucher increased its score by a little more than two points. Northside has shown the most improvement of the three, raising its score more than six points over last year, but still falls six-tenths of a point below the new state benchmark SPS of 75. Schools that fall below 75 are given a letter grade of F and placed on the list of academically unacceptable schools. The three schools managed to avoid failing status last year by edging above the 2011 SPS benchmark of 65, but the new minimum standards for 2012 had LPSS officials predicting a year ago that these same schools would be labeled as academically unacceptable by the 2012 school year. If the schools fail to make it off of the academically unacceptable list within four years, they could face takeover by the state, though Cooper’s six-year district turnaround plan includes several new strategies aimed at lowering the achievement gap that exists within north Lafayette schools.
Kudos to The Monroe News-Star’s Barbara Leader for pointing out that maybe, just maybe, the emperor is butt nekid. The paper reported that scheduled conference calls between Board of Elementary and Secondary Education members, the Department of Education and Superintendent John White to discuss key agenda items before public BESE meetings appear to violate the state’s open meetings law. In an effort to avoid a quorum, at least two conference calls were scheduled to address single matters before the board. In good-government parlance it’s called a “walking quorum” because such meetings of a public body are required by law to be at a fixed location, advertised ahead of time and open to the public. Conference calls meet none of those criteria. While BESE’s lawyer says the calls do not run afoul of Louisiana law, two BESE members — Carolyn Hill and Lottie Beebe — declined to participate in recent calls due to concerns they might be illegal. And member Connie Bradford, who did participate, referred to them as “meetings.”
"I have never seen anyone who worked harder for our people than Sen. Mary Landrieu, so I would like to share a synopsis of a few of the many things she has done to help Louisiana."
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
Corporations spending in state elections; Kenny G and Hong Kong; states resist gay marriage and more national and international news for Thursday, October 23, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
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The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
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