New details in East Feliciana School Board member's death: Shot in chest, items taken from car, engine running _lowres

Broderick Brooks

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CLINTON -- The East Feliciana Parish School Board voted 9-1 on Monday to appoint Edward L. Brooks Jr. as an interim member until a special Nov. 8 election is held to fill the seat left vacant by the May 23 slaying of Brooks’ brother, Broderick Brooks Sr.

Broderick Brooks, 34, was serving his second term when he was gunned down in Baton Rouge.

Paul Kent, who voted against the appointment, asked Edward Brooks if he actually has lived in District 2 of East Feliciana Parish for an entire year before Monday’s vote.

Brooks said he has and gave a West Lakeshore Drive address for his residence.

Board votes unanimously to approve new charter term

In a turnaround less than a week in the making, the East Feliciana Parish School Board voted unanimously Monday to approve a new charter term and new contract to the liking of Slaughter Community Charter School officials.

Last week, the board could not agree on agenda for its regular June meeting and canceled the meeting while more than 100 Slaughter patrons demanded to be heard.

The charter school’s future enrollment was at the center of the agenda dispute.

After the aborted meeting, Superintendent Carlos Sam, board President Michael Bradford and members Ron Thompson and Richard Terrell met with three members of the charter’s board, Glen LeDoux, Chrissie O’Quin and Andre Greenup, last Thursday.

The two sides, along with their lawyers, hammered out an agreement that charter board members say meets the requirements needed to begin construction on permanent buildings with an $8 million federal loan.

The charter board approved the negotiated contract on Friday and agreed to drop a lawsuit filed in March alleging the parish board violated the state open meetings law when it voted Jan. 5 to renew the Slaughter school’s charter for three years with an option for two more years.

The charter officials said their school performance score merited a seven-year extension.

The parish School Board met Monday to take up some items originally slated for discussion on June 7 and had planned to hold a second special session Tuesday to consider the charter school’s contract.

Board members, however, questioned why it couldn’t be taken up Monday, and calls were made to member Tim Corcoran, who had been at work, to come to the meeting to add the charter school to the agenda and cancel Tuesday’s session.

District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said a board policy requires the attendance and unanimous vote of all board members to change the agenda for a special meeting.

The board then rescinded the Jan. 5 charter term vote and extended the charter for seven full years, as allowed by state law and board policy. With a state letter grade of B, the charter school is the top-ranked school in the parish.

The three-part contract allows the charter school to enroll a maximum of 292 students in grades 7-12 the first year of the contract, 305 the second year, 320 in the third and 321 for the remaining four years.

Because state law allows charter schools to enroll up to 120 percent of their specified enrollments, the Slaughter enrollments can range from 350 the first year to a maximum of 385, which is what the charter board sought in earlier discussions.

Greenup, O’Quin and LeDoux said Friday they gained an understanding of the parish school officials’ concerns about the enrollment after being shown how much parish tax money is allocated to their school, depending on the enrollment.

The state Minimum Foundation Program dollars follow the students, regardless of whether they attend a charter school or a private school outside the parish, but O’Quin said she had not been aware of the impact the charter school has on the distribution of parish tax monies.

“We learned something from Mr. Sam and Mr. Bradford,” LeDoux told the parish board Monday.

Sam said the contract negotiations were fruitful and produced an agreement fair to both sides.

An agreement attached to the contract calls for the charter school to pay specified amounts for various services, including assessment test preparations, athletic field usage, food service, special education, alternative school placements, summer school and general administrative support.