CPSB stalls actions per state litigation

Published 12:07 am Friday, March 15, 2013

VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish School Board found itself at a loss for actions that could be taken in light of the status of Louisiana’s most recent educational reform legislation.

The issue first came up when the board discussed the possibility of sending a letter requesting a state attorney general’s opinion if the parish superintendent has the authority under Act 1 to transfer employees in the school system.

The problem is that Act 1 is currently facing a challenge in court, Superintendent Paul Nelson said.

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“The attorney general is not going to give an opinion until that litigation is settled,” Nelson said.

Act 1 is a controversial educational reform package that the Louisiana legislature adopted in 2012.

Board member Raymond Riley made a motion to table the question until the litigation was settled.

Later, when the board reached the point on its agenda at which members would have approved several new policies, board members were hesitant to do so because some of the policies were part of Act 1.

“Since Act 1 is in the courts and we are changing policies consistent with Act 1, should we hold up on making changes?” Board President Gary Parnham asked.

Nelson responded that until a final decision is made about the act, it is the current law of the land.

“In some cases, the law has said that we will approve this (policy) in so many days, and if we don’t we get in trouble with the current law,” he said.

But Riley said he didn’t want to see the board taking unnecessary actions.

“There is no sense in going through with something and having to go back through later and do it again,” he said.

The board ultimately voted to have the superintendent and the school district’s attorney vet the policies so they could adopt the ones that would not be affected by the litigation against Act 1. The policies will be presented to the board for adoption at its next meeting.

In other news, the board voted to join the District Cooperative of Louisiana.

Nelson said the cooperative is being created by several school districts so they can pool their buying power for certain educational materials.