Apr 4, 2013 5:32 PM by Tina Marie Macias

Board delays vote on school calendar, OK's overtime policy

A vote on the 2013-14 school calendar was delayed and a revised overtime policy approved during the Lafayette Parish School Board on Wednesday.

Those items were overshadowed by a discussion about superintendent Pat Cooper's performance, which dominated the majority of the 7-hour meeting and culminated with Cooper being reprimanded for insubordination.

The proposed calendar would include 10 fewer school days for students compared to this year and include a total of 12 in-service days for teachers. Students would make up the lost instructional time with longer school days.

Several principals spoke in favor of the calendar, which was designed by a committee of educators, but at least two teachers said more discussion needs to be had on the calendar.

Board member Rae Trahan said fewer school days could add stress to parents and other board members questioned if bus drivers and cafeteria workers would be paid during the in-service days.

A vote on the calendar was postponed until the next board meeting on April 17.
Additionally, the board did not discuss its overtime policy, which was changed after tens of thousands of dollars were improperly paid out.

They are blamed it on a policy change eight years ago that they say led to employees misinterpreting the policy's true meaning.

Human Resources director Bruce Leinger is unsure exactly how much unearned overtime has been paid, but he estimates between 50 and 80-thousand dollars a year since 2004.

"There were variations on the theme of what people understood overtime to be," said Human Resources Director Bruce Leininger has told KATC.

The board will not request that the unearned overtime be repaid.

Lastly, the board discussed the system's discipline policy, which Cooper said will be revamped and introduced its absence policy, which will be up for a vote at the next meeting. 

While both the new and old policies allow board members to miss up to five regular, special or committee board meetings, the new policy says those absences will apply to the calendar year. The current policy doesn't state a specific period for absences.

Absences came to light after some board members were called out for excessive absences.


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