The Lafayette Parish School Board has approved an emergency declaration giving the superintendent emergency powers.
The declaration, approved unanimously at a special board meeting this afternoon, gave Superintendent Irma Trosclair powers that include the authority to sign contracts to purchase things and services without board approval; arrange for the delivery of meals to all children at no cost to the child or family; continue to pay school employees their regular compensation; to adjust work schedules, pay, staff assignments and curriculum; the authority to change the school calendar and to apply to the state department for waivers - all without board approval.
The declaration also gives Trosclair authority to apply for aid and grants related to COVID-19 matters; provide non-mandatory, supplemental educational resources to students; and to take any action required to implement any of the matters mentioned in the declaration - again, without board approval.
The superintendent will be required to provide regular written reports to the board about what she's doing, according to the declaration.
Board member Tehmi Chaisson explained that the declaration was voted on because "there are so many decisions on a day to day basis that take place. Before they need us to come back and meet again and meet again, giving her the autonomy and power that she needs to make those smart and wise decisions to keep our school systems running in the meantime and try and offer services that are so direly needed in our community."