Dec 30, 2013 11:10 PM by Steven Albritton and Tina Macias
Time is running out for some Acadiana school board members to finish a required number of annual training hours. State law requires six hours of training on topics like new legislation, bullying, drop-out prevention, and ethics. After we reported three Lafayette School Board Members are behind on hours, many of our viewers reached out wanting to know how their school boards stack up.
According to the Louisiana School Boards Association website, there are nearly 100 school board members across Acadiana. With two days left in 2013, 27 board members have less than six hours of training and 16 of them haven't even recorded a single hour. But, it turns out, there are no penalties for board members who don't get training. Speaking with former State Representative and Lafayette Parish School Board member Ricky Hardy, who co-authored the bill, he says, elected officials take an oath of office and they should adhere to the oath of office that they are going to follow state and federal laws.
"They chose to be a public servant. You have to do the job as a public servant. If you can't do it, resign your position. It's just that simple," Hardy said.
Vermilion Parish School Board member Anthony Fontana is one of 16 in Acadiana, who hasn't logged any training this year.
"I'm a trial lawyer. I'm in court all the time. I can't make the convention. So, I don't get the hours in the convention at all," Fontana said.
Fontana says he was never notified of the missing hours and thought he had them taken care of through private, in-house sessions with the Vermilion Board Attorney. He blames a breakdown in communication.
"We've done it every year. We fill out the paper work. It's sent in. I don't know if it's because it's done in house, but I have no idea," Fontana said.