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Dec 8, 2009 5:10 AM by Jon Carrere

Hardy Approves School Money

State Representative Rickey Hardy was in the spotlight today after denying the Lafayette Parish School System $746,000 last month.

Tuesday morning in Baton Houge, Hardy had Harsh words for Parish Director of Curriculum and Instruction Louise Chargois.

While the parish has received the tobacco settlement money to keep students in school for a decade, Hardy said Northside high has a dropout rate of 44 %.

But Hardy made one last effort to keep his hand on top of the money.

He wanted to approve the funding contingent on positive results relative to academic performance in the Parish.

But after the committee chairman ordered hardy to decide he approved the funding outright.

Hardy says he wanted a contingency plan because he doesn't see any sense in, "continuing to reward failure."

But Chargois insisted the district needed the money.

"Without these funds we would not be able to to provide some of the additional programming that we have for our students," says Chargois.

Both sides say Hardy expressed several concerns to Superintendent Burnell Lemoine about improving Lafayette's schools.

As far as denying the school system the money the first time around?

Hardy says he had no intention on holding the money.

He says he, "just wanted some dialogue and discussion."

jcarrere@katctv.com

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