Tangipahoa Schools Update – 6/29/11

SETTLEMENT? Tangi School Board submits ‘modification’ plan to Judge

AMITE—Attorneys for the Tangipahoa Parish School Board could as early as today submit a “modification” to their 2009 desegregation plan in a move that could, in essence, be the first step to unitary status for the district which has been under Court mandate for more than 40 years.

On Tuesday, the Board voted 7-2 to reduce their 262-page desegregation plan to less than a dozen major talking points, all without either a new tax increase or the potential for parishwide busing, subject to Judicial approval.

Only Sandra Bailey Simmons and Andy Anderson voted against the proposal, which attorneys say mirrors a number of the talking points plaintiffs’ counsel indicated would be in line toward a possible settlement of the 46-year-old lawsuit.

Next plan for schools: No raises, fewer new buildings

The Tangipahoa Parish School Board voted on a modified desegregation plan with no new taxes Tuesday to present to federal Judge Ivan Lemelle.

In a 7-to-2 vote, with school board members Andy Anderson and Sandra Bailey-Simmons opposed, the board took attorney Charles Patin’s recommendation for a plan that will offer alternatives to the judge imposing a tax or busing.

The defendants’ modified plan calls for no salary increases for employees, no new art and music teachers at the elementary level, construction of three new schools rather than six, no new facility for the Career Education Center and dispersing Loranger students to Hammond and Amite high schools.

Under the modified plan, students from the extreme north end of Loranger would attend Amite High and those from the extreme south end of Loranger would attend Hammond High Magnet. Loranger students in the central part of Loranger would attend Loranger High, said school board attorney Chris Moody.

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