Teachers say they may leave school district after St. Landry Parish superintendent’s contract extended

St. Landry Parish

ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) –Teachers in St. Landry Parish say they may be finding new jobs in other school districts.

This comes after the school board voted to extend the superintendent’s contract Thursday night.

Many educators in the parish showed up to voice their concerns about the superintendent, but ultimately, they say their concerns were dismissed.

“I actually had a job in Lafayette Parish, was made promises, and decided to stay for the kids and for this parish, and I’m continuously being lied to. When I’m counseling teachers more than students, something is wrong,” Lidia Soley, an educator in St. Landry Parish said.

Over a dozen educators showed up to the St. Landry Parish School Board meeting, waiting to hear what would happen to Superintendent Patrick Jenkin’s position.

Jenkins went into the meeting asking the school board for to extend his contract by two and a half years and bump up his salary by three to five percent.

This angered teachers, who say they’re already underpaid.

School board members ultimately decided not to give the superintendent the raise, but they did extend his contract by another year.

Many teachers protested against the extension tonight.

“I do believe the current superintendent is hindering the change that is needed in our parish. You can’t put students first if you put teachers last, and our teachers are tired. We’ve been fighting this fight for a long time, and many of them are scared. They’re scared of retaliation by speaking out, what’s going to happen if their face is on the camera, or if they show up at a board meeting, but tonight, I’m tired. I’ve had enough,” Soley said.

When the board announced they’d be extending the superintendent’s contract, many teachers walked out frustrated. They say he makes decisions without input from the community and makes promises he does not keep.

“When you have this many positions to fill and you’re not making the changes to correct the situation, then problem is within the district and the higher-ups. It’s not the teachers. The teachers are doing their jobs. They’re doing what it takes to prepare these kids, but we can’t do it by ourselves. We have no support from the higher ups, and that’s where our issues are coming from,” another teacher added.

Some teachers say they will be leaving the St. Landry Parish School District to find jobs in other parishes.

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