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Mar 22, 2013 5:43 PM by Tina Macias

Executive committee proposes changes to absence policy

Proposed revisions to the Lafayette Parish School Board's absence policy clarifies that board members can miss five meetings annually. They also could have absences excused if they notify the board president of a "reasonable excuse" like illness, family deaths and work obligations.

The board's executive committee met today to decide how to change the policy. The full board will vote on their recommendations at an upcoming meeting.

School Board absences came under scrutiny recently, school board member Hunter Beasley said, which prompted a review of the policy.

The policy, which is optional by state law, is vague. The policy requires board member with more than five absences forfeit $100 per missed meeting, but does not specify a period of time. Board members receive a $800 stipend per month. It also requires that excused absences be qualified by the full board, but committee members said they felt uncomfortable judging each other.

Instead, they proposed that absences be submitted in writing to the board president. It also recommended that the policy apply to every workshop, meeting and hearing, which Beasley said are all important because they help board members make informative decisions.

Other board members, however, were torn. Tommy Angelle and Themi Chassion leaned toward only making regular, voting meetings mandatory.

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