All hands were on deck at the Lafayette Parish School Board meeting Wednesday. The superintendent received full support for his N.P. Moss Prep satellite program. In fact, staff from the Acadiana Marine Institute were there. Lafayette consolidated councilman Kenneth Boudreaux says LCG will support the first six months of the program. "I think we can secure some money from our financial findings to be able to participate financially in this."
Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Neustrom says the sheriff's office will do the same. Sheriff Neustorm encouraged the school board to give a lot of thought in favor of the contract with AMIKids. "The question is are we going to try to do something about it now or are we going to wait 5 or 10 years from now and say we need another adult facility." Superintendent Dr. Pat cooper says the initial cost will be $184,000; that covers the remaining six months of the school year. "AMI will run this independently of our administration at Moss Prep in two portable buildings."
Eric Hall of AMIKids says the program has a 74% success rate of preventing re-offending behaviors. Plus, AMI is in 8 states and partners with more than 50 communities. "It's important to invest up front and provide an opportunity to re-direct kids early on and keep them connected to school so they can go onto the point of graduation."
The sheriff and LCG have not yet committed to supporting the program next year, but the idea is up for discussion. "Again, we have a prosperous community but the community cannot continue to grow unless it addresses kids who are in school causing problems," adds Sheriff Neustrom. The satellite proposal is up for final adoption at the next school board meeting.