Friday, February 20, 2009



Changes considered for Louisiana school boards

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Next month, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will consider several proposals to change state laws governing local school board operations. Recommendations emerging from the board, known as BESE, would be passed to the Legislature for possible action. Among proposals BESE will consider:

—Term limits for local school board members.

—Elimination of salaries, with either a capped per diem or reimbursement of expenses.

—Changes to the nepotism statute. Currently, family members of board members can be promoted to administrative or principal jobs.

—Establishment of a minimum education requirement (high school diploma or equivalent) to qualify for school board membership.

—Requirement of a two-thirds school board vote to fire a superintendent.

—Strengthened professional development requirements for school board members.

—Authorization for local schools superintendents to hire and fire without school board approval.


Source: Louisiana Department of Education

Date: 2/18/2009 6:54 AM

School takeovers prompt parent lawsuits

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A group of parents and teachers have filed a lawsuit, seeking to block the impending state takeover of eight Baton Rouge public schools.

The five plaintiffs claim that the Recovery School District -- the state-run school district that would assume control of these eight schools -- is already in violation of state laws.

The plaintiffs, represented by Baton Rouge School Board members Jay Augustine and Tarvald Smith, are seeking both a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction to prevent the school takeovers. State District Judge Todd Hernandez is set to hear the case on Feb. 26.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted Jan. 15 to take over 10 schools -- eight in Baton Rouge, two in Shreveport -- out of 33 chronically low-performing schools in the state.


Information from: The Advocate,

Former teacher sentenced in sex case

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A former Belaire High School art teacher has been put on probation after pleading guilty to charges that accused her of having off-campus sex with a 15-year-old male student in the fall 2007.

State District Judge Todd Hernandez sentenced 29-year-old Kesha D. Manuel on Tuesday to eight years at hard labor on a felony charge of cruelty to a juvenile and six months on a misdemeanor charge of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, but suspended both terms.

Hernandez put Manuel on active supervised probation for five years on the felony charge. The judge said Manuel cannot have any contact with the victim and cannot be employed or engaged in volunteer work that involves anyone under 17.

The judge placed Manuel on unsupervised bench probation for two years on the misdemeanor charge.


Information from: The Advocate,

Baton Rouge School places second in competition

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — St. Thomas More School in Baton Rouge took second place in the 2009 National Engineers Week Future City Competition, good enough to earn the school a big scholarship and new software.

Teams from 38 middle schools nationwide, winners of regional competitions in January, participated in the Future City National Finals this week at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

St. Thomas More won for their Future City, which they titled Esperyance. The team is comprised of students Maggie Talbot and Annie Talbot, both 13 and Tyler Bellue, 14, teacher Shirley Newman and mentor Ricky Lee of SEMS, Inc.

St. Thomas More received a $5,000 scholarship for its technology program, and a 10-seat academic suite of engineering software from Bentley Systems.


School cameras in Tangipahoa

AMITE, La. (AP) — The Tangipahoa Parish School Board is moving forward with plans to increase security at all of its 35 schools.

On Tuesday, the board approved cost quotes for cameras at Kentwood High, Independence High, Amite High, Independence Middle and West Side Middle schools. Also approved was a $20,605 contract quote for 13 cameras at Loranger High School.

Schools already with camera systems are Sumner High, Ponchatoula High, Hammond High and Northwood High schools.

Officials say camera systems provide schools with the ability to monitor campus activities. They serve to both prevent strangers from entering schools and as a deterrent to student confrontations.

Board President Danny Ridgel said eventually, all schools will have cameras.


Information from: The Advocate,


New Orleans schools get recommendations for improvement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A panel of land use experts is set to give recommendations for marketing dozens of New Orleans schools that would be "landbanked" as part of a proposed master plan.

The Urban Land Institute panel looked at four properties considered representatives — in a business corridor, low flood plain and residential areas.

Thelma French, director of board operations for Orleans Parish schools, said the panel is providing technical assistance as part of the master planning process. It is looking at how officials might try to market the schools for another use.

Louisiana's education superintendent has said the city's school system was overbuilt before Hurricane Katrina, with capacity for about 100,000 students but only about 60,000 enrolled. The number of students is even lower post-Katrina.

No comments:

Post a Comment