Last Modified: Thursday, September 13, 2012 11:30 AMThe Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation and the Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy Foundation are suing the Calcasieu Parish School Board for denying their request to provide transportation to the two area charter schools for the 2012-2013 school year.
Gene Thibodeaux, president of the Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation, said the suit was filed two weeks ago “asking the court to order the school board to provide transportation.”
“We think the law is so clear,” he said. “Whether the board must provide transportation is not the issue, but instead the extent to which it should be provided.”
The full board unanimously appointed Superintendent Wayne Savoy to head up the negotiations with the charter schools during the board meeting Tuesday evening. Savoy said he is waiting to hear from the school board’s legal counsel to move forward.
“Normally what happens is attorneys talk to attorneys and then we go from there,” Savoy said. “I know what the law says. We have an opportunity to charge for the services, that all goes into the negotiations.”
The lawsuit was filed after lengthy discourse between the two parties.
On May 10, Thibodeaux sent a letter to Savoy requesting a partnership between Lake Charles Charter Academy, Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy and the district regarding transportation. Savoy responded June 19, denying the partnership.
Thibodeaux and the Foundation then met with a lawyer, James Spruel Jr., to send a “demand letter” to Savoy and the school board. The letter outlined the Foundation’s reasoning and mentioned the laws that required the school district to provide transportation.
“We hereby again make demand for student transportation services under the authority of Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:158 and 17:3991. In your (Savoy’s) letter dated June 19, 2012, you spoke of ‘the best interest of the students that attend Calcasieu Parish public schools.’ Without any attempt to even appear pedantic, we note that students attending the Lake Charles Charter Academy and the Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy are students that attend Calcasieu Parish public schools,” the demand letter stated.
Savoy said he felt he did not have enough information to accept the proposal and recommended that the school board deny the request. The board voted 12-3 to deny the request.
Thibodeaux said the two parties must reach an agreement on how many buses the charter schools will use, how many students will be transported, the specifics of the routes and the per-pupil cost.
“We plan to go forward unless the school board can provide an acceptable response to our request,” he said. “It’s our view there is no question that they must provide transportation, the only question is the details.”
Thibodeaux said he is optimistic that both parties can reach an agreement by “the beginning of next semester.”
The case will be heard Sept. 20.
Posted By: Gimme A. Break On: 9/13/2012
Title: What money does school board have to give..lol
There aren't enough buses,working buses to transport kids to none charter schools......THEY SHOULDA THOUGHT ABOUT THAT N BUDGETED BUSES INTO THEIR PLANS......better yet they should dispersed all that money thru out all schools,teachers,n student......my god...give an inch take a mile..........oh but the geniuses want another school...w/NO BUSES.........Really,folks?
Posted By: Steve A On: 9/12/2012
And then the Charter Schools will demand that the parish provide them with textbooks, and meals, and a sports curriculum.........there will no end to it, other than the fact that someone will be pocketing the cash.
Posted By: claude On: 9/12/2012
Title: Busing for charter schools
More money spent out of less money coming in. Typical government politics benefitting the owners of the charter schools.