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Lafayette Teachers Waiting On New Materials

School started this week, but Lafayette Parish teachers haven’t gotten the new materials they’ve been requesting all summer.

“What’s being requested now is the absolutely basic minimum that’s needed,” said Angela Morrison, director of Community Collaboration and Partnerships with the Lafayette Parish School System.

"What’s being requested now is the absolutely basic minimum that’s needed."

Morrison says teachers are using old materials — some 6-7 years old — while the Parish School Board decides whether to approve a $2.4 million expense for instructional materials and student workbooks for social studies, language arts, math and advanced placement courses.

Another $530,000 in digital materials have been requested, but with a lower priority. See the full request here.

Dana Schmersahl, principal at B-rated school-of-choice J. Wallace James — which focuses on arts and technology — says her teachers trained with the materials back in June.

Schmersahl pleaded with the board to approve the expense at its regular meeting Aug. 6. She pledged to restructure her school’s budget to pay for the K-2 phonics materials if the board denied the funding.

The board meets to discuss its budget Thursday, Aug. 14, at 5:30 p.m. Board members will review a revised budget proposal from Superintendent Pat Cooper, and they may go into executive session to discuss a federal lawsuit filed against them last week.

The district’s budget must be finalized by Sept. 15.

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