Update: LPSB denies new charter school application

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On Wednesday, the Lafayette Parish School Board meets to make a decision on a new charter school in the parish.

The school is Carmouche Performing Arts Academy with a program in New Orleans.  They’ve submitted a charter application to open a school serving grade levels 6 through 9 — that’s to start — with a student body of 175 students.

LPSS director of accountability and technology Tom Spencer says the board looks for a charter applicant to show they have experience, a comprehensive plan to succeed and a program that meets a district’s needs.

“For example the current is for a performing arts academy.  Do we have a need for a performing arts academy in the district at this time,”  Spencer explained.

Spencer says the school board had a third party evaluator, Dr.Toby Daspit, review the application. 

“If such a request is denied, then they can go to the state to make a request,” Spencer stated.

According to the results of the evaluation, Dr. Daspit noted he found the group to be inexperienced.  Daspit also states there are no board members residing in Lafayette Parish. 

Plus, Daspit refers to the proposed plan as “generic” for example there is no mention of where the school would be located.  

Dawn Morris is the LPSSS school board representative for Comeaux High where there is a performing arts program.

Morris in a statement responds to the vote on the charter:

“I fully support arts, including visual, musical and performing arts for all students.  We are very fortunate that Lafayette Parish School System does so as well and that such services are available to LPSS students through the Performing Arts Programs at Comeaux, Alleman and J Wallace James. In addition, LPSS has a robust program for students who qualify for Talented services plus amazing art, music and band programs at many of the individual schools.   While I also support student choice,  I firmly believe that LPSS provides ample choice and opportunity for students.  I simply do not believe there is a need for a performing arts charter school in LPSS at this time.”

Currently, there are four charter schools in Lafayette Parish.  

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