FLAIR Supporters Show up at School Bd Mtg

Crowd builds before 12/7/2021 LPSB mtg – Lincoln Parish STEM Center

At twenty-four minutes in duration, last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board may not have been the shortest we’ve attended, but it was close. And the brevity may have been because of the short agenda, but more likely it was the 100 plus parents and children who came to have their say about plans to scrap the Foreign Language Academic Immersion (FLAIR) program at Glenview Elementary.

The parents planned to read from a prepared statement for the board, but when it came time to adopt the agenda, a motion to amend and allow the issue to be discussed was defeated on a 5 to 6 vote.

The motion was made by Lisa Best and seconded by Debbie Abrahm.

Voting yes were Best and Abraham, George Mack, Donna Doss, and Susan Wiley. The no votes were Lynda Henderson, Otha Anders, Danny Hancock, David Ferguson, David Gullatt, and Joe Mitcham.

Hunter Smith was absent.

Mitcham noted that there would be a 5 PM, Thursday, 12/9 meeting at Glen View Elementary where parents can address school board members and administrators.

Among the points made in the statement:

Imagine our surprise then when, on Tuesday,November 30 (one week ago today), a letter announcing the cancellation of the immersion program was given to our children. Though addressed to parents, the letter was printed on a single sheet of paper and was openly distributed, not enclosed in any envelope. As such, many of our children, ages 5-8 years old, some of whom could read the letter themselves, were handed this upsetting news outside of our parental purview and left to process it under unnecessarily stressful condition.

Over the last seven days we have consoled our crying children; spoken with our district representatives; called upon our state leaders; and channeled our shock, confusion, hurt, and dismay into collective action. All for our love of this program.

The statement also references LA RS 17.273.3:

“Such a program shall be continued as long as at least twenty students remain enrolled in the program.” (§17:273.3) We have 66 children enrolled in the program.

The parents distributed to board member folders that included letters of support from the Lt. Governor’s office and the Department of Education.

Also there were several hand written letters from children enrolled in the program.

It will be interesting to see the political dynamic of this issue unfold in the coming days and weeks, especially since a critical school tax election is set for next March.

Also, next year all the school board members will have to stand for re-election.

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5 Responses to “FLAIR Supporters Show up at School Bd Mtg”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    If it was football they wpuld find the money

  2. Anonymous Says:

    What does this have to do with foreign language immersion programs having their funding taken away?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    cut one of those extra check from teachers. that couould more than cover the cost of this program

  4. Anonymous Says:

    What was so shocking was how easy it was for them to say no we’re not going to listen to you.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t y’all know those people at the school board office are the experts? How dare people expect them to listen to the wishes of parents.
    Seriously, another problem created by a lack of constant two-way communication between government and the citizenry it supposedly serves.

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