The Avoyelles Parish School Board met in special session Friday, May 8, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. at the School Board Office with the following members present:


             Michael Lacombe, President; Darrell Wiley, Vice-President; Freeman Ford, Chris LaCour, James Gauthier, Lizzie Ned, Shelia Blackman-Dupas, Van Kojis, and John Gagnard.


            Absent: None.


An Invocation was offered by Mr. Walter Rogers.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America led by Board Member Chris LaCour.


            1.         Superintendent Blaine Dauzat presented an amended proposal for a New Teacher Incentive for 2015-2016 for the Board’s consideration, as follows:



New Teacher Incentive



                        1.         New Teachers at the following schools will receive a $3000 signing supplement:


                                    A.         Lafargue Elementary School

                                    B.         Plaucheville Elementary School

                                    C.         LaSAS


                                    This supplement requires a 3 year commitment.


                        2.         New Teachers at the following schools will receive a $5000 signing supplement:


                                    A.         Avoyelles High School

                                    B.         Bunkie Elementary Learning Academy

                                    C.         Bunkie New Tech High School

                                    D.         Cottonport Elementary School 

                                    E.         Marksville Elementary School

                                    F.         Marksville High School

                                    G.         Riverside Elementary School


                                    This supplement requires a 2 year commitment.


                        These signing supplements will be paid from the general fund and federal funds.


                        Justification: The 3 schools listed in number 1 above are our lowest poverty, highest achieving schools. The 7 below are higher poverty, lower achieving schools.  We are trying to give more of an incentive for a new teacher to go to work at these schools, as they are harder to staff.


                        A new teacher is defined as a teacher new to the Avoyelles Parish School District for the upcoming school year.  (If they have worked in Avoyelles Parish in the past and left they are eligible for this if they decide to return.)  Retired teachers are not eligible to receive this supplement. A teacher can only receive this supplement once in their lifetime.


                        On motion by Darrell Wiley, seconded by John Gagnard, the Board adopted the new Teacher Incentive proposal for 2015-2016 as presented by Superintendent Dauzat.  MOTION CARRIED.


            2.         On motion by Freeman Ford, seconded by Chris LaCour, the Board agreed to go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation (Holmes versus Avoyelles Parish School Board bearing Civil Action 12,721 on the docket of the United States District Court for the Western  District of Louisiana.)   MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.


                        On motion by Chris LaCour, seconded by Freeman Ford, the Board agreed to  reconvene in open public session at approximately 1:45 p.m.  MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.


                        Resolution by Van Kojis, seconded by Freeman Ford:


                        BE IT RESOLVED that the Avoyelles Parish School Board accepts the terms of the consent order and votes in favor of approving the Avoyelles Parish School System as unitary, completely desegregating all of its schools.


                        District Attorney Charles Riddle congratulated the members of the Avoyelles Parish School Board, Superintendent Blaine Dauzat, Mr Allen Holmes, Mr. Mark Dann, United States Department of Justice; Mr. Dwayne Lemoine, and Dr. William Gordon for their hard work and dedication in achieving this goal.  Mr. Riddle stated that basically the Consent Order is a document that the Federal Judge is requiring the Board to sign, agreed to by all the parties, that stipulates until June 1, 2018, the Board is under the Consent Order, under the jurisdiction of the Federal Court, but there will be a full declaration of unitary status.


                        Mr. Riddle further stated that the Consent Decree is a 20-page document and the Consent Order is a three page document.  Furthermore, Mr. Riddle said that the Superintendent, on behalf of the School Board, must report annually to the Federal Court to insure that the order is adhered to and to provide an opportunity for all parties to discuss any matters if a matter is not carried out correctly. In conclusion, Mr. Riddle stated that this is a great moment for Avoyelles Parish and congratulated the Board for their work.


                        President Michael Lacombe called for a vote.  The motion was unanimously adopted by the Board.


                        President Michael Lacombe expressed his thanks to the Central Office staff and, present and past School Board members for their hard work in achieving unitary status.  Mr. Lacombe stated on approximately December 23, 2008, the Board began working towards unitary status by seeking approval of six Green Factors, namely, Student Assignments, Curriculum, Facilities, Staff Assignments, Student Activities, Faculty and Administration Assignments.


                        Mr. Allen Holmes stated that this Board has been a dynamic Board and agreed to make it their top priority to work towards unitary status.  He complimented the Board for working together for the children in Avoyelles Parish.  Mr. Holmes stated that this is a momentous day for the students in the Avoyelles Parish school district.


                        Mr. Dwayne Lemoine, former Superintendent of Schools, stated that at the time he was hired in 2000, there were four Board members on the Board, namely, Mr. Van Kojis, Mrs. Lizzie Ned, Mrs. Shelia Dupas, and Mr. Freeman Ford.  Mr. Lemoine stated that the Board was setting goals at that time, and one of the goals was to be declared unitary.  Mr. Lemoine stated that the Board in 2000 made it a priority to work towards this goal.  Mr. Lemoine also pointed out that the fulfillment of these Green Factors helped in making Avoyelles Parish a better school district.  Mr. Lemoine acknowledged Superintendent Blaine Dauzat, Mr. Charles Riddle, and Mr. Allen Holmes for their hard work.  In closing, Mr. Lemoine stated that this is a momentous day for the Avoyelles Parish public school district and he is proud to have been a part of it.


                        Representative Robert Johnson stated that this is an outstanding day for the Avoyelles Parish School Board.  He commended the Board, staff, and principals for their hard work and dedication.


                        President Michael Lacombe expressed his thanks to the past Board Members, Mr. Dwayne Lemoine, former Superintendent, Mr. Steve Marcotte, Maintenance Supervisor; Mrs. Mary Bonnette, Director of Finance; Mr. Luke Welch, SIS Coordinator; Mrs. Debbie Bain, Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance; Dr. William Gordon, Mr. Charles Ridlde, Mrs. Cynthia Juneau, Superintendent’s Secretary; central office staff, principals, assistant principals, Mr. Garland Forman, and all employees of the Avoyelles Parish school system.


                        Board Member Van Kojis expressed his thanks to former Board Member Carlos A. Mayeux, Jr. on worked on the Green Factor of Facilities and provided the Board with an outstanding report.


                        Mr. Carlos Mayeux expressed his thanks to the Board for inviting him to the meeting and wished the Board and Superintendent well in implementing unitary status.


                        Board Member Shelia Dupas stated she began serving on the Board in 1995. She stated that the Board is truly blessed to have reached this milestone.  Also, Ms. Dupas stated that it is her hope that the Board will never have to go back in time and felt that the Board should move on since this is such a wonderful opportunity for the school system.


                        Superintendent Dauzat expressed his thanks to Ms. Thelma Prater, Assistant Superintendent, for her hard work.  Also, Mr. Dauzat stated that the Board has his pledge as well as the staff and principals that they will insure that they will make every effort to follow the Consent Decree and will remain a unitary system.


            There being no further business, on motion by Darrell Wiley, seconded by Lizzie Ned., the meeting was adjourned.





Michael Lacombe, President


Blaine Dauzat, Secretary-Treasurer