There were a lot of questions during the executive committee meeting Wednesday. Mostly from the school board members who attended. "He doesn't have a high school diploma. The governor, the legislature; I don't care who you are seems to be that this fella can't work," says board member Tommy Angelle.
In a letter to the executive committee, Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper admitted knowing about the person not having a high school diploma. Cooper says out of all the applicants the man he hired is best suited for the job.
According to Cooper, the position of Special Assistant to the Superintendent of Facilities, Maintenance, and Transportation demands a person with experience. "I know in his letter he said there's much more weight with experience, but the very first item is a high school diploma," says Angelle.
The committee says the position in question is a Grade 9 paying about 76,000 a year. Current and former school system employees just shook their heads. Some complained that it's unfair for a person without a high school diploma to have people under him with one. Wyland Guidry is a retired school system employee. "Why is it different for any one person."
The committee voted with only two of three members present. The recommendation follows Dr. Coopers request to allow him to submit an amended job description for the school board to vote on. "I think it says High School Diploma / GED preferred," says executive board member Dr. Hunter Beasley.
"This doesn't have anything to do with the employee it has to do with his job description and qualifications," says Cobb. The revised job description is to be presented to the school board - next week.
School board member Rae Trahan also requested that a report be submitted to the board. Trahan wants to see who applied for the job, their qualifications, and the qualifications of current employees with a similar pay grade.
LPSS Unqualified Employees
The Lafayette Parish School Board is under the microscope right now. The hiring of a school system employee has raised some eyebrows. A school board member says that the person hired doesn't qualify for the job.
Board member Dr. Tehmi Chassion brought it up for discussion at the school board meeting last week. Dr. Chassion says some actions are inexcusable. "If you're going to give someone a job that's over me making twice, three or four times as much as me; I think they should at least meet the minimum qualifications."
Chassion's says some school system employees are up in arms about this. Education is what the school system is about. Chassion believes hiring a person who doesn't meet the listed job requirements sends the wrong message. "I can't preach it to these kids and yet still let them know that the concession is that if you know the person that is hiring it really doesn't matter what your qualifications are. That's not fair and I refuse to send that message."
Dr. Hunter Beasley is one of the three executive board members scheduled to review the job description Wednesday. Beasley contends that there are some topics best resolved by the executive board. "I think when you have disagreements this is a better venue to talk about that."
"It doesn't fit well with me. It's not fair to any person that has applied for a job," adds Chassion. The LPSS Executive Board meeting is open to the public Wednesday at 3:30pm. They will look over the job description and then make a recommendation to the full board.