CPSB school reconfiguration plans head to school board for full vote

Updated: May. 26, 2020 at 10:49 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - While CPSB’s fiscal committee met to discuss and revise the district’s budget, the third item on the agenda took up most of the committee’s time. A proposal to reconfigure some area schools took center stage. In the proposed plan J.D. Clifton and T.H. Watkins would become K-through-5 schools, while John F. Kennedy and Combre-Fondel would transition to early childhood centers.

Rev. Desmond Wallace got a chance to pitch his alternative plan which would rezone rather than reconfigure.

“What is does, it takes advantage of all of the growth and development that we’re not hoping will take place in the Southeast area of Lake Charles south of 210 but that is already being developed and is already taking place,” Wallace said.

Some school board members expressed concern with voting on the proposals at the budget meeting.

Rev. Wallace made a motion to give them time to review the options before voting, but that was denied. Some community members speaking against the reconfiguration plan, were let in one-by-one to comment.

“If the board knew about the problem 5 or 10 years back, why is the first solution to reconfigure the school, and not to rezone?” a concerned citizen said.

“You can’t disrupt the students lives right now, this pandemic has already done enough," another said.

" I just want the board to know that we are not going to, as a community, stand back and let our bond money be taken away from us," said another.

After over 2 hours discussing the matter, the first measure involving John F. Kennedy and T.H. Watkins passed.

The second measure was amended and approve to make Combre-Fondel K-through-5, and J.D. Clifton and early childhood center.

The plan will now have to be taken to the full board for a final vote. The Calcasieu Parish School Board’s next meeting is on June 9th.

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