May 5, 2010 10:59 AM by Letitia Walker
OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - Superintendent Michael Nassif and the
members of the St. Landry Parish School Board will return to
federal court Thursday in Lafayette.
The court appearance is one more step in the process of reaching
unitary status, or full compliance with the desegregation plan that
was recently approved by federal Judge Tucker Melancon.
"What's going to happen now, is that the attorney for the
Department of Justice will be in court to give us an update on what
is going to be required for us to complete the process," Nassif
The school district is getting close to the intended conclusion,
Nassif said. The original desegregation lawsuit that is the impetus
for the effort was filed about 40 years ago.
"All parties would like to finish it," Nassif said. "There
may be some things we have to finish up. Most of it will be rather
minor, and we can work it out."
So far, St. Landry Parish has satisfied three of the six "green
factors" necessary to achieve unitary status transportation, extra
curricular activities and staff assignments.
"We have recently received a good recommendation regarding
special education," Nassif said. We still have (to address)
student assignments and facilities."
Nassif said he foresees no problems with the issue of
facilities. Student assignments is a work in progress that came to
fruition at the beginning of the school year when many students
were reassigned to new schools, some schools merged and others were
"The court has approved the student assignments," Nassif said.
Attorneys will address the final details of the paper work on
the implementation of the plan.
"We're anticipating that it has been resolved," Nassif said.
The superintendent and all members of the school board will be
in court at the judge's request, Nassif said.
"I think it shows that he wants them to hear the progress and
anything else that needs to be resolved."