Delta Charter topic of meeting
FERRIDAY — Parents, teachers and members of the community were able to voice their questions and opinions to attorneys representing the U.S. Department of Justice, Delta Charter School and Concordia Parish School District on Wednesday evening in relation to ongoing litigation against Delta Charter School.
In June 2014, the Concordia Parish School District filed a motion in federal court alleging that Delta Charter operated in violation of a consent order that allowed the school to open in 2013.
As of a ruling in June 2017, the school must recruit students under an ordinance which caps the number of Concordia Parish students enrolled at 350 and the overall enrolment at 500 students while giving minority black students first priority when granting students admittance.
Percy Bates, Ph.D, an educational psychologist from Michigan, said the legal representatives were there to hear what the community had to say regarding Delta Charter School.
“We want to hear from you,” Bates said. “We think that things are going reasonably well at Delta Charter, but we’re not on the frontline. We’re here to open up and hear your comments about Delta Charter School.”
Approximately 30 to 50 attendees at the meeting held at the Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Ferriday had a different opinion of how the school is doing.
“Our kindergarten children did not get to Delta Charter this year, even though they are residents of the parish and have siblings in the school already,” said Kacie Boyette, a Ferriday resident. “Now (the school) is busing students in from other parishes to fill those kindergarten spots. … This is not fair.”
Boyette said other parishes in the state have rezoned their schools to be compliant with old segregation laws, and argued that the rest of Concordia Parish has not been compliant.
“They are forcing Delta Charter to do what they are not implementing in their parish,” she said. “Concordia Parish is not held to the same standards that they’re holding Delta Charter to.”
Bob Hammonds, the attorney representing Concordia Parish School District, said Delta Charter failed to abide by an agreement created before the school ever opened its doors.
“The negotiated agreement — signed off on all parties — said that Delta Charter would open with 230 students and would be able to increase enrollment by 30 students a year to a maximum of 300 students, which would take two or more years,” he said. “The school opened with 331 students, which was over 100 more than was agreed to.”
Mike Higgins, the attorney representing Delta Charter, said the school is more concerned with getting the school in compliance with the ordinance and with state standards and is making strides to do so.
“If the district is going to stay in this lawsuit for another decade … that’s their position I suppose. For Delta, what we’re trying to do is meet all the goals that we’ve already agreed to meet … and hopefully things will be better for us then.”
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