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.”
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
Fall's new darling
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Urgent Care clinics unprepared for Ebola; Nazis collected Social Security; Hawaii dodges a bullet and more national and international news for Monday, October 20, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Two bedroom cottage in Lafayette or three bedroom traditional in Erath
Gulf Brew ready threads
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
We welcome nominations from readers and leaders throughout the business community in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Ebola is kind of terrifying if you watch too much Fox News and CNN. Especially Fox, which makes everything look terrifying because, well, War on Christmas and Obama and all.
Local developer’s Lake Charles Gardens LLC purchases buildings and leases; land still owned by Dugas family.
One bedroom townhouse or two bedroom townhouse in Lafayette
Hit the barre for a good cause
Whatever district you are in, please do your research. Find out what the schools need in order to teach. Better yet, ask your child’s teacher. They know!
Get your groove on with two free concerts in Downtown Lafayette Friday, both at Parc Sans Souci.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.