OPELOUSAS — The St. Landry Parish School Board unanimously agreed Thursday to have Superintendent Edward Brown recommend a solution for the number of school principals the district should employ.
There’s a proposal to limit the number of district principals to only those schools affected by state testing standards.
But Thursday’s vote gives Brown until next month to research and introduce a policy that would create a system for the board to determine which schools should hire principals.
Board member Randy Wagley said the district has 33 school sites where students undergo statewide testing.
Two other schools — Washington Vocational and Technical School and the St. Landry Alternative Training School — also have principals, but those students are not subjected to statewide tests, Wagley said.
Last month, the board also discussed whether the principal’s position at Opelousas Junior High should be opened. Willie Haynes III has been an acting principal at the school since the retirement of Principal Jude Victorian earlier this year.
The board at that meeting discussed whether hiring a principal other than Haynes is necessary, because Haynes earns about $70,000 annually even though he hasn’t had a permanent administrative position since Melville Elementary was closed several years ago.
Board member Donnie Perron suggested the board should instead allow Brown to examine the matter of how many principals should be employed.
Perron said the issue is too important for the board to decide without input from Brown.
In a related matter, the board voted without discussion to open the Opelousas Junior High principal’s position.
Also, the board agreed to begin a demolition process for a classroom building at Palmetto Elementary that is infested with termites.
In April, the board voted to spend about $94,000 to transport leased portable buildings to the Palmetto Elementary campus to serve as classroom space while district officials decide long-range solutions for the school.
A citizens’ group representing Palmetto Elementary has suggested also building six new standard-size classrooms, two restrooms and an activity room for physical education and assemblies, and remodeling any remaining classrooms that are not demolished.
In another matter, the board approved a 12-month pay scale for 10 elementary school principals at an additional total cost of $88,000 a year, effective July 1.
Previously, the principals were paid for 11 months of work.