School Board approves preparing redistricting plans

PETER SILAS PASQUA ppasqua@postsouth.com

PLAQUEMINE – The Iberville Parish School Board voted to approve hiring Redistricting, LLC for preparation of reapportionment plans for eight single member districts and one at-large.

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Voting Rights Act, the 15-member board must quickly redraw lines before qualifying deadlines for 2014 elections.

Members were told in the past they could disregard a state law requiring the size of the board to be no more than nine seats.

"I don't think it was a law that was not enforceable," board member Darlene Ourso said. "This board choose not to follow the law."

Ourso's substitute motion to adopt Redistricting, LLC's existing plan seconded by Pam George failed

"It is already on our website," Ourso said.

Nancy Broussard's original motion carried.

"We have always had more than one map to look at," Broussard said. "It is unfortunate that laws were passed and we are starting all over but I think it is appropriate that we consider more than one configuration."

The Ad Valorem Property Tax Millage Rates for the tax year 2013 will be set at the Sept. 16 school board meeting.

The board was also informed that the general fund in the proposed 2013-14 operating budget is $17 million.

"Expenditures have been made already and we are going to need more classrooms," Cancienne warned. "It is very easy to spend money. It could be that the board may need to hire more teachers."

The board also discussed and considered approving building and grounds committee meeting recommendations which include a kitchen at MSA - East, training and weight rooms at White Castle and East Iberville and a dining room expansion at MSA – West.