Forums to explore law debated by Cooper, board

Forums to explore law debated by Cooper, board

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LAFAYETTE — A law enacted in July 2012 that has been the crux of much debate between the Lafayette Parish School Board and School Superintendent Pat Cooper will be the topic of two upcoming forums.

Cooper has scheduled a Jan. 11 workshop for school employees on the law, known as Act 1, to explore how it changes board governance and staff management. The League of Women Voters of Lafayette will hold its public forum on the law on Jan. 14, featuring a panel discussion on the law and its effect on school boards and school employees.

Act 1 not only made several changes in teacher evaluation and compensation, but also transferred final personnel decisions from school boards to superintendents. Aspects of the law have been challenged in court and are still under judicial review.

Differences of opinions between Cooper and some School Board members over interpretations have further complicated relations between the superintendent and the board, particularly over the March 2012 hiring of Thad Welch, who at the time did not meet the educational requirements for the new position of special assistant to the superintendent for facilities, maintenance, grounds and transportation.

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You can read the complete article from The Advocate here.

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