Aug 17, 2010 4:58 PM by Melissa Canone

13 School Board Candidates' Responses to Issues in the Races-Question 6

The members of Lafayette City-Parish Council and the School Board have met quarterly for the past year on areas of common need and the School Board created a public coalition to assist communication about school facilities. When and how would you encourage intergovernmental and community involvement regarding major policy decisions of the Lafayette Public School Board?

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 1

Mark Allen Babineaux is running unopposed
(No response offered.)

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 2

Greg Davis
Our school system, local government and community have shared responsibilities to support families in the holistic development of children. They share in the responsibility to give our teachers education-ready children. Our school system must utilize all available resources when students are in distress. This requires a close partnership with governmental agencies, non- governmental organizations, civic and faith-based organizations and businesses. All share responsibility in the holistic development of children. The School Board should view schools as the center from which children's needs are being met through coordinated community outreach under the leadership of empowered principals. Community partners should be embraced as equals.

Tommy Angelle
I would support continuing the dialogue between the Lafayette City-Parish Council and the School Board and work closely with the Council on areas which are of mutual concern and/or benefit. I feel that dialogue with the community such as occurred with the formation of the community coalition for facilities was another step in the right direction and should continue. Community support of our schools and our school system is extremely important if we are to move forward educationally. The community is most likely to buy-in when they feel that the school system is operating in an open manner and with the future and wellbeing of its students its priority.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 3

Shelton J. Cobb is running unopposed
(No response offered.)

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 4

Tehmi Chassion
I would welcome and encourage intergovernmental and community involvement in helping right our school system. One possibility is the use of city recreational facilities as school gyms and fields to lessen financial burdens and free up money for educational resources. Another is coordinating with the Lafayette Housing Authority to assure every child is living in a safe environment that is conducive to healthy living and ready learning. The community, as a whole, needs to work together and welcome interactions of all entities that strive to better the education of our most precious resources.

Gwen Harris
I think it is beneficial for the school board to seek the input of the Lafayette City-Parish Council and the community, as major decisions made will have community-wide impact. The process is more efficient and more likely to succeed if concerns are addressed in the planning stage rather than when the decision is being implemented. I support the system used to date; however, the issue under consideration by the school board may call for a different structure. I will be attentive to the needs and concerns of the community, and insure that effective avenues of communication are identified by the board

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 5

Junius "June" Andres
Joint meeting of the Consolidated Council and the School Board quarterly is good, however, I feel that they need to meet every other month. These bodies should communicate on major policy decisions bi-monthly.

Kermit Bouillion
I commend the Lafayette City-Parish Council and our School Board for recognizing the long-term benefit in on-going communication regarding our educational needs. I would support such on-going diplomacy and meeting of the minds. I support such quarterly meetings. Our children are our future. Lafayette needs a skilled, literate, adaptable work force. So does our world. Together, everyone wins. By gaining a clear understanding of the needs of our community we will make sound decisions. I would encourage such collaboration.

Dean Landry
Tax dollars need to be stretched, not wasted. When feasible, assets should be shared between cities and schools to eliminate duplication. There are several city-school partnerships (Denver, Pasadena, and Topeka) that maximize sharing of community resources, facilities, and transportation services, and also improve safety and student achievement. Here's one idea: instead of building a $21M theater at Comeaux HS as proposed in the master plan, we should pursue an agreement with our local government to jointly use the Comeaux Recreation Center and direct the savings to urgent maintenance needs. While not ideal, it's a viable alternative, especially in shaky economic times. We need not reinvent the wheel; let's simply borrow good ideas and apply them here.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 6

Greg Awbrey
For longer than the last year we have met together with the City-Parish Council and with the Coalition and worked hard on finding solutions. With continued input from the Parish and the Coalition the board has taken much of the advice we have been given, deferring to the desires of the communities and needs of the district. As always each member of the Council and each person on the Coalition has different views that we consider, but in the end the school board must make the decisions from the perspective of doing what is best for the school system and the education of the students. That has to be our position. As long as we are going to be held responsible for education in Lafayette Parish, we have to be the final authority on education in Lafayette Parish.

Dudley E. LaBauve, III
I welcome and encourage communication with the public about major policy decisions. It is public money being spent, and the public should have as much knowledge of policy creation and spending practices as anyone within the bureaucracy. Improve the LPSS website, so it is much easier to access relevant information and make suggestions. Some additional technology improvements that support classroom performance are posting homework assignments online, secure communications between parents and teachers for test results and student progress, and web casting the classes when kids are home sick.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 7

Mark Cockerham
I think that governmental bodies working together can be very effective when collaborating. Collaboration of governments can combine resources to help taxpayer's savings.

Thomas Brown
I would encourage the two intergovernmental bodies to continue to meet quarterly to discuss facility use and scheduling. Recreation centers can serve as a gymnasium or an activity room during the school day. Auditoriums can serve as meeting and conference rooms, along with classrooms when they aren't used by students; especially during the summer. I.D cards can be used for bus transportation within the city limits, to help reduce the amount of buses purchased in the school system; as well as the hiring of bus drivers.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 8

Hunter Beasley
Intergovernmental collaboration and cooperation is very desirable in that duplication of services may be avoided. Also, programs/services may be delivered to the citizens of this community that would result in savings to the taxpayers.

Having the community involved in major policy decisions is also desirable. The more that I receive input and various perspectives from citizens the better I will be able to make decisions that meet the needs of this community.

Arlecia Hill
Lafayette-City Parish council and the School Board meeting quarterly present an adequate amount of time to address needs in the parish. My goal would be to exchange more services and communication between each government agency. Conducting research into the common needs of these two groups could drive the frequency of meetings depending on the partnership established.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 9

Rae B. Trahan is running unopposed
(No response offered.)



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