- Associated Press - Monday, April 21, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette Parish School Board meets Wednesday to consider taking a formal and unified stand against proposed legislation that singles out the board.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/PmJmJn ) state Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, filed three pieces of legislation specific to the Lafayette board that are under consideration in the current legislative session. One bill would move the board’s current election cycle to a gubernatorial election year. That bill received approval in the House on April 10 and awaits consideration in the Senate.

Two more bills are related to how the board is structured.

One bill allows a community commission to investigate other forms of school board governance beyond the current all-elected board member structure in Lafayette Parish. The bill also gives the commission the authority to recommend an election for voters to decide whether to make any governance changes. A second related bill provides a constitutional amendment to make the governance change with voter approval. Both bills have not yet been considered by the House Education committee.

Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley questioned why the bills “single out” Lafayette Parish and criticized Landry for not discussing her intentions with the board. Beasley plans to bring a resolution that opposes the three pieces of legislation to the board at a special meeting planned for Wednesday. A copy of the resolution was not readily available. Beasley said he felt it was necessary for the board to formalize its objections to the legislation.

“I don’t have a problem with her doing what she thinks she needs to do,” Beasley said. “The thing that I think myself and other board members have an issue with is that she never came to us to discuss her concerns or her thoughts about those bills.”

Landry said her bills are products of constituents’ concerns that the board has lost focus.

“My legislation is designed to solve the problem caused by the dysfunction of the current School Board, so I’m not surprised that they’d be opposed to it,” Landry said. “I’ve had different calls from people, and I’ve had concerns over the School Board and how they’ve lost their focus and the mission of educating children.”

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com