Nov 11, 2009 1:47 PM by sleonard

State Rep. Hardy responds to actions at LPSS meeting

Office of State Rep. Rickey Hardy

District 44 - Lafayette

November 11, 2009

Everyone knows that the education, safety, and welfare of our children here in Lafayette are matters very near and dear to my heart. With that in mind, the hyperbolic statements by Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Louise Chargois are ludicrous at best.

During my more than thirteen years as a member of the Lafayette Parish?School Board I had to constantly battle the arrogance, as well as the deference to special groups and individuals. The education, safety, and welfare of the students who attend the LPSS did not seem to be a factor for the current board members and administration.

Just recently, though the criminal backgrounds of a number of LPSS bus drivers were exposed, no policy was established and the entire affair was swept under the rug. That is until a bus driver was arrested for OWI and then, mere hours later, was driving his school bus loaded with our children.

The LPSS paid $310,000 to a sitting superintendent for him to go home and sit down with that money. That's upsetting to me. Does that sound like a school system that needs money?

The LPSS wants to pay $900,000 to a consultant to do a facility plan? Does that sound like a school system that needs money? As a board member, I saw to it that contract bus drivers were issued IRS Tax Form 1099s in compliance with federal tax law. As soon as I left the board, measures to repeal that policy and return to the "good 'ol boy" status quo in violation of the law took place.

When the representative from Baton Rouge was informed that LPSS violated procedure and protocol, she withdrew her motion. It did not fail. She withdrew it. Period.

Schools that are located in my legislative district continue to fail year after year. Yet, the LPSS does nothing but hang window dressing to address this problem year after year. The continuing arrogance of the LPSS, its continuing failure to follow policy, procedure, and protocol as well as the continuing failure of schools located in Legislative District 44 were all factors in my vote. We must not continue to reward failure. Accountability for the LPSS starts here.

Rep. Rickey Hardy



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