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School Board settles superintendent contract

By Kimberly Hopson

RESERVE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board met in special session Friday to handle several legal matters.
First on the agenda, the board unanimously approved a resolution to move foward with a lawsuit intended to recover an annual growth adjustment of 2.75 percent in state funding, in accordance with House Conconcurrent Resolution 130 of the 2011 Regular session of Louisiana Legislature.
According to legal documents, the percentage would automatically be applied to the state and local base per pupil amount beginning next school year, the fiscal year of 2012-13.
Charles L. Patin Jr., a lawyer with Baton Rouge law firm Kean Mller LLP, said the resolution simply authorizes the legal counsel to file the litigation.
“It adds an additional $106 to the state and local per pupil amount. That means that you
all are entitled to an additional right at a million dollars, or over $909,000. That amount will then be the basis
for the appropriation of the upcoming fiscal year of 2013-14. Assuming that the House Resolution 130 remains in effect, you’ll get 2.75 percent on top of that the adjusted amount, which is $3,961 per pupil. This means a substantial amount of money for your district,” said Patin.
“This is not only the right thing to do because you need to  help your school
district be financed, state law says this is something you should do as a school board because that’s your legal duty,” he continued, referencing Louisiana revised statute 17:81(E)(1).
Kean Miller will work with Blackwell & Associates to institute the litigation. Patin advised that his company would work “as fast as we can” to pursue the case.
The board accepted the contract for Kevin R. George, the school district’s new superintendent’s. According to board president Clarence Triche, George will begin his three-year contract on July 1. Interim Superintendent Herbert Smith said the contract was negotiated quickly so that the school would not be left without a superintendent
The board also addressed an item interest with a recent protest by CSRS.
After the board awarded the Disaster Management Recovery Contract to HGI, CSRS submitted an official protest saying the company had failed to submit proof of insurance, was not a licensed architect
and was therefore unable to serve as a “professional of record” and could not legally provide construction project management because it was not licensed by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.
At the suggestion of board member Albert Burl, the board moved to dismiss CSRS’s protest, a motion that passed almost unanimously with nine yeas and two absent. The company may choose to pursue the matter further or drop the case completely.