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School Board to address Southside and Comeaux enrollment numbers

Vote comes after complaints about resources
southside concerns
Posted at 6:17 PM, Sep 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 12:12:25-04

LAFAYETTE — As the population of Southside High continues to grow in Lafayette Parish, the high school closest to it continues to see enrollment numbers drop.

That has parents of students at Comeaux High concerned and raising the question over what will be done to make sure their school won't be forgotten.

The board is set to discuss that topic this week. The school board member who is starting the conversation, Britt Latiolais, is based primarily in another district but he's been asked to address it in a board meeting.

Latiolais says Comeaux's enrollment numbers could affect how much money the school gets, how many teachers are there, and what kinds of programs they receive. "Their [Comeaux High] enrollment numbers are dropping, they'd like it to be addressed, they feel like they haven't had much of a voice on the board lately," Latiolais said.

After hearing the concerns of citizens in the Comeaux district, Latiolais is asking the board to direct the superintendent to develop options for the board to consider later this year that will reduce enrollment at Southside High School starting in the 2020-2021 school year.

"If Southside balloons to 17, 18, or 1,900 students and Comeaux stays at 11, 12, or 1,300 that defeats the purpose of rezoning and why we did what we did," Latiolais said.

Demographer Mike Hefner, who works with the board to assess and align districts, says Comeaux's population was expected to shrink after the new school opened two years ago.

"Comeaux is going to lose some because they are moving out of the Comeaux zone and into the Southside zone." Hefner explained.

He adds that the school systems needs a few years of enrollment data from Southside before taking any sort of action on realignment.

"I would say to propose anything at this point, even though I haven't talked to anybody in any sort of official capacity in my opinion would be premature until we get an idea of what the projections are looking like”, Hefner said.

The school board meets Wednesday night September 11. KATC will report on if the measure is passed.