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Edward D. Brown, Superintendent, St. Landry Parish Schools

OPELOUSAS — St. Landry Parish School Superintendent Edward Brown said he plans to remain in the position until his contract expires Dec. 31.

Last week, the board had discussed a possible buyout offer — a discussion that was repeated in Brown’s office Thursday afternoon with the board president, vice president and attorneys for both the board and Brown.

The board voted in May against renewing Brown’s current three-year contract.

Since then the board has held two meetings to discuss how and when to begin the process of searching for a new superintendent.

The board will meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. for further discussion on the search.

At a special meeting last week, the board voted to retain the option of buying out the remainder of Brown’s $128,000 base contract.

Brown, in an interview Thursday evening, said he met with board president Raymond Cassimere and vice-president Randy Wagley in Brown’s office about possibly leaving earlier than Dec. 31.

“They made a presentation to me about that and it was an offer that I have chosen not to accept. That’s all I can really say about it,” Brown said. “I still plan to remain as superintendent until my contract ends in December.”

Wagley said he and Cassimere attended a meeting in Brown’s office at 2:30 p.m. Thursday with Brown’s attorney, whom he did not identify, and board attorney Bob Hammonds.

Wagley said the meeting was prompted by the belief Brown might be “willing to step aside as we get further along into the selection process.

“There was discussion to maybe pay (Brown) his pay for serving as a consultant at the same salary that he is making now,” Wagley said. “What I know (Brown) wants to make crystal clear to this board and the public is that is that he plans to stay until Dec. 31 and the only separation from that would be if it came from the board first and not from him.”

Also on Thursday, Sue Brignac, representing Vision St. Landry, a group of business leaders, offered the board the group’s support as the search begins for Brown’s successor.

In order to improve the school district, which has 10 schools with D and F state performance scores, strong leadership structure is needed, Brignac said.

Brignac said she and other Vision St. Landry members have scheduled a meeting sometime next week with Cassimere.

“This is the first time any group has shown this type of interest,” board member Anthony Standberry said.

Wagley said Brignac’s offer of support is significant. “This is what it takes. Until someone holds our feet to the fire, we are going to end up dragging our feet,” he said.