LAFAYETTE - Unanswered questions about the search for the next superintendent - such as the extent of public involvement - may come as soon as next week.
School Board President Mark Allen Babineaux said Friday the three-member search committee will meet sometime next week, though a date has not been finalized.
Babineaux and members Hunter Beasley and Tommy Angelle fill out the committee.
The agenda is still being worked out, but Babineaux said business covered will likely include: a timeline, qualifications and public involvement.
It will be the first time that the committee has met since May, when the board voted to conduct its own search rather than hire a firm and charged Babineaux to get the job started.
Superintendent Burnell Lemoine’s contract expires Dec. 31.
Discussion on the issue is overdue, said Beasley, who planned to add the search topic to the board’s July 20 meeting. Beasley hoped the board would pin down answers on the search committee’s role, community involvement, candidate qualifications and the scope of the search - regional or national.
“We’ve got to start moving toward doing something,” Beasley said Thursday.
Meanwhile, groups that make up the Lafayette Public Education Stakeholders Council continue to attend board meetings with appeals for transparency and public involvement in the process.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce presented its own resolution calling for the same, and the 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette requested minority representation on the search committee.
Babineaux said the initial search committee was organized to set search parameters and prepare for the position’s advertisement.
He said he foresees more committees formed throughout the process.
Any committee decisions will also require full board approval, he said.
LaPESC had asked that the board engage third-party help, with Teach for America, the Louisiana Department of Education or the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as potential partners.
Third-party roles will be discussed and participation is welcome, but the final hiring decision is up to the board, Babineaux said.
The groups could serve as de facto - and pro bono - headhunters and advisors.
Teach for America recruits recent college graduates to teach in the nation’s high-need schools and could help connect the board with leaders among its alumni, said Michael Tipton, executive director of Teach for America in south Louisiana.
“We’re in 42 regions across the country. We have a general sense of who’s doing great work where,” he said.
It’s the first superintendent search for the current School Board. The last search was in 2000, and that search committee involved community members, including Gerald Carlson, ULL dean of the College of Education. The committee interviewed finalists in a public forum, Carlson said.
He said some duties the university could offer this search: screening of applicants, vetting of credentials, development of qualifications, interviews, and providing contacts for potential candidates.
“We’ll do what we can - whether it’s screening ? or serving on an official committee,” Carlson said. “We just want the best for the children of our community.”
The Louisiana Department of Education could develop a list of candidate qualifications based on the “expressed goals and challenges of a local district,” stated Ren? Greer, Louisiana Department of Education communications director, by email.
The department does not involve itself in the selection process, she added.
Beasley, who is a member of the ULL College of Education faculty, said he’d like to see the search committee explore available resources.
“I think people are willing to do what they can to help in whatever capacity, so I think it’s something that we should look at,” Beasley said.