Apr 30, 2012 7:02 PM by Maddie Garrett

Overhaul of Lafayette Schools Central Office Staff

Major changes in Lafayette Parish Schools' staffing is in the works. The superintendent plans to create new positions, eliminate others and change the roles of some central office staff. Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper said his plan is to move more staff out of the central office and into schools.

"We want to make sure that the principals and teachers have all the help they can get, and we want to make sure they get that help immediate. So we're doing away with a lot of the bureaucracy at the central office level so folks can get answers," said Cooper.

Cooper said when it comes to staffing, he wants to take out the "middle man." It's all part of his turnaround plan the school board approved earlier this month.

"It's more transparent for the community, and it's more efficient the way he organized it," replied Lafayette Parish School Board Member Mark Cockerham.

There are concerns among school board members, such as the financial impact, specifically when creating new positions or programs. However, Cooper said grants they already receive will help pay for any additional costs.

"So between the finances that we already have available to us in the district, and the fact that we do have people retiring and leaving the district, I think we're going to almost be able to say that this is a wash," he said.

While some positions will be eliminated altogether, employees whose jobs are no longer there will be offered teaching positions instead.

"We're concerned about every job we have there at the central office but we need new positions in order to tailor to this new superintendent and what he brings to the table. So some shuffling is going to have to happen," said Cockerham..

The School board will discuss the re-organization plan Wednesday. The re-organization includes several proposed new job descriptions, such as director of health and wellness, director of accountability, research and evaluation, director of early childhood education, director of community collaborations and partnerships, and conflict resolution and compliance specialist.



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