Walter Pierce

LPSS headed to Capitol for cash

by Walter Pierce

Representatives of the central office from the Lafayette Parish School System are expected to be at the Capitol Tuesday morning during a joint House-Senate Education Committee meeting as the LPSS seeks to secure roughly $750,000 in grant money state Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, blocked at a meeting of the same legislative body last month. Hardy blocked the funding because he was upset that the school system had not contacted him ahead of time to express its interest in obtaining the grant. School system officials, meanwhile, say they were unaware that a request needed to be submitted. The funding is part of millions of dollars from the Louisiana Educational Excellence Fund derived from the 1998 tobacco settlement and distributed annually by state lawmakers to parish school systems, primarily for dropout prevention programs.

A Hardy staff member says it’s not a forgone conclusion that the first-term represenative, himself a former member of the Lafayette Parish School Board, will approve the funding. Expected at the meeting in Baton Rouge are Director of Curriculum and Instruction Louise Chargois and Chief Financial Officer Billy Guidry.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and can be viewed on-line at