Board will eventually air school plan in open forum

By Jim Butler

The St. Landry Parish School Board will conduct public deliberations on the proposed zoning-consolidation plan before its August court date.

The board in May received a proposed plan from the Justice Department, with an order from U.S. District Judge Tucker Melancon to respond in 120 days.

Since then the board has twice used executive sessions to discuss the desegregation proposal, including one at its meeting last Thursday.

Board attorney Gerard Caswell of Eunice said public discussion and consideration of the board’s options will begin once preliminary matters are resolved.

Those include getting numbers back from a demographer retained in May.

Numbers are the heart and soul of the contested plan.

The board, Caswell noted, wants current, reliable counts of children before it puts a response to the government together.

Board options include accepting Justice’s proposal, amending it or drafting one of its own.

The latter option seems to be the one toward which the board is leaning, based on remarks by some of them at meetings in their districts.

The eastern side of Eunice High’s zone moves slightly under the plan.

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