Last Modified: Thursday, August 09, 2012 11:06 AM
Two Catholic schools in Calcasieu Parish have quickly filled their allotted seats for voucher students, a diocesan official said.
Kimberlee Gazzolo, school superintendent for the Diocese of Lake Charles, said Our Lady’s School in Sulphur and St. Theodore Holy Family School in Moss Bluff have filled their state allotments of 10 and 17 seats.
“We won’t know until the actual first day of school,” she said, whether all of those students who have asked for vouchers will show up for classes.
Several Louisiana political websites at the end of last month reported that attorneys for the Louisiana Association of Educators had threatened in a letter to sue Catholic schools if they accepted state money for vouchers.
In the letter — copies of which are posted on various sites — Brian Blackwell of the Baton Rouge law firm Blackwell & Associates tells schools that “our clients have directed us to take whatever means necessary to prevent the unconstitutional transfer of public monies.”
One of the sites that posted a copy of the letter — www.TheHayride.com — also featured an accompanying form letter that schools could send to state Superintendant John White in refusing to accept voucher money.
That letter, which was unsigned, bore the name of Holy Family School, and a story posted Monday at www.FoxNews.com said the school had declined the state money.
But Gazzolo said Tuesday that both schools would accept the voucher students and the state payment. Asked if the threatened legal action was a concern, she replied, “Not at all.”
Catholic schools in Lake Charles will open Aug. 15.
A lone Catholic school in Jennings will open Friday, the same day Jefferson Davis Parish public schools open.