Dec. 2, 2013 05:25
RMay_130306_7382_Cooper

In an effort to ease tensions, Lafayette Parish Superintendent of Schools Dr. Pat Cooper is calling for board approval of two day-long workshops: one to address lingering questions caused by Act 1 of the 2012 Legislature, and a session focused on mending the tattered relationship between the board and administration.

 [Editor's Note: This story has been updated with the accurate date of the school board meeting after it was listed incorrectly on the school board's meeting calendar. The meeting will begin, as usual, at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.]

 
 Photo by Robin May  
Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper  

In an effort to ease tensions, Lafayette Parish Superintendent of Schools Dr. Pat Cooper is calling for board approval of two day-long workshops: one to address lingering questions caused by Act 1 of the 2012 Legislature, and a session focused on mending the tattered relationship between the board and administration.

According to Wednesday's meeting agenda, the first of Cooper's two resolutions calls for approval of a day-long workshop hosted by a "local professional mediator." The session, which will come at no cost to the school system, will focus on repairing "the relationship between the Board and Key Administrative Officials," the resolution reads.

Cooper's second item calls for approval of an additional day-long workshop focused on the increasingly controversial changes wrought by the passage of Act 1 during the 2012 Legislative Session, which, it's safe to say, have had a profound impact on school systems statewide, namely over the transfer of powers from school boards to superintendents.

Act I, as noted in our December cover story (read it here), has been at the center of a year-long fight between a majority of school board members and Cooper - a fight that resulted in Cooper's reprimand in April by the board after his repeated refusal to fire maintenance/transportation supervisor Thad Welch over his lack of a high school diploma, and the recent firing of the board's free legal counselor, Assistant District Attorney Roger Hamilton Jr., for a letter he submitted to the state Attorney General's Office stating an investigation of the superintendent was unwarranted.

The governance structure workshop, the agenda states, will "further define and determine the duties and powers of the Superintendent and administration and the duties and powers of the School Board."

Wednesday's meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.