During committee meetings, board gets Common Core update

Bourque: Keep teaching

With committee meetings already scheduled for Wednesday, June 18, the Personnel/Insurance/Curriculum Committee provided the Acadia Parish School the chance to discuss Common Core.

The executive order and statement issued by Gov. Bobby Jindal Wednesday afternoon saying the state wanted out of Common Core testing juxtaposed by a statement from the Department of Education saying Common Core would continue has put the state’s educators and local education policymakers in a bit of hard place.

“I don’t know how the parish knows what to do,” said Lynn Shamsie, school board member and member of the Personnel/Insurance/Curriculum Committee. “You’ve got the governor saying one thing, the superintendent saying another. ... We’re kind of caught in the middle.”

Superintendent John Bourque presented a copy of Jindal’s statement and one from the state Department of Education to the board members before simply stating the school board’s feelings.

“For our part, it doesn’t change what we do,” said Bourque. “We ask teachers to teach children. That’s what we are going to do again, we’re going to keep teaching children.

“We had our best results last year. Testing in the spring will be just like it was this past year, not quite PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). So, it’s not going to affect us as much as some parishes.”

Bourque added that he knows teachers are concerned, but that everything would be alright and the bottom line remains the same.

Gene Daigle, school board member and member of the Personnel/Insurance/Curriculum Committee, requested that Bourque send an official statement to the parish’s educators in July to reassure them of that and give them something to go off of.

While Shamsie pointed out that the parish doesn’t even really know, Daigle contended that even if it was just what Bourque said Wednesday, it may mean a little more coming from him than just saying it.

“They want to know what you want them to teach,” said Daigle. 

“You (Bourque) expressed it perfectly. I can’t. I’m not that fluent with words. But maybe if you send that to them, because they’re concerned. They’re not just off to Florida or wherever, they’re planning (for the next year).”

Bourque agreed that wouldn’t be a problem.

Also in the Personnel/Insurance/Curriculum Committee meeting, Dr. Doug Chance, administrator of ancillary service, presented figures to the committee for the two-year renewal of existing coverage for general liability and educator’s liability and the renewal of property insurance through Dupre, Carrier, and Godchaux with Westchester and RSUI.

Both renewal rates gave the Acadia Parish School Board “sticker shock” of sorts, but for abnormal reasons. The liability coverage rate came in at about 2.5 percent less than last year’s figure while the property insurance also went more than $67,000 despite having a fire claim and an open water damage claim.

Both recommendations of renewal were unanimously approved to be moved to the full board for approval.

Prior to the committee meeting a special session was held to receive and take action on bids for the re-roofing of Iota Elementary School as well as the re-adoption of two resolution and the adoption another measure.

Concerning the re-roofing, the alternate bid of $154,720 from Mid-Western Roofing was accepted. The alternate bid, Chance explained, includes the removal of the existing sheets and re-roofing with Duralast, as Acadia Parish has been using in the past. The bid was accepted unanimously.

Due to the attorney general questioning language in the original resolutions, the school board re-adopted resolutions pursuant to the Minimum Foundation Program litigation for the fiscal years of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. Via roll call vote, the measures were re-adopted 7-0 with School Board Member David Lalande absent from the meeting.

Also by roll call vote and by the same 7-0 margin, the board adopted the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire for the period ending June 30, 2014.

Jeannine LeJeune is the online editor for the Crowley Post-Signal. She can be reached at jeannine.lejeune@crowleytoday.com or 337-783-3450.

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