- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

NEW ROADS, La. (AP) - The Pointe Coupee Parish school system will have to wait just a little while longer before officials learn if their proposal to transform Pointe Coupee Central High into a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy will fly.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1RBczeg) U.S. District Judge James J. Brady said Thursday he will make a decision on the school district’s proposal very quickly.

Superintendent Kevin Lemoine spent the morning in federal court trying to assure the judge the proposal included stipulations that would ensure the program has a racially balanced student body.

The district wants the plan approved as soon as possible because Lemoine hopes to start the program in fall 2016. Lawyers handling the case expect Brady to make a decision in a few days.

“We were hoping to have this done back in September,” Lemoine said in court Thursday. “We’ve done everything short of implementing it. Now we’re waiting to hear word one way or the other.”

The school district must receive the courts’ approval because it remains under federal court supervision for not having fully complied with desegregation orders.

About 20 black residents from the parish sat in on Thursday’s proceedings. Many of them are in favor of Central becoming the lone public high school for the parish over the current school, Livonia High, because the Central campus has the capacity to hold more students.

The Rev. Carl Terrance, who sits on the New Roads NAACP’s education committee, said the organization has no objection to the STEM Program, but members would rather see it integrated within a traditional high school setting at Central.

The RSD, which ran the school for six years, asked the court to return jurisdiction of the school back to the parish school system after the state failed to improve academic performance.

Students who were attending Central High have been attending Livonia High School since fall 2014.

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


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