Desegregation case nears an end in Evangeline Parish (La.) district

Dec. 23, 2009
Judge approves plan that could end federal oversight of school system
FromThe Baton Rouge Advocate: A 40-year-old school desegregation case in Evangeline Parish, La.,could end within three years under a court-approved agreement. The settlement calls for $3 million in renovations at Ville Platte High School and a range of other requirements addressing the assignment of students and teachers. If the School Board sticks to the terms of the agreement, the parish’s school system could be free from federal oversight after the 2011-2012 school year. ------------------------------------------- FROM DECEMBER 2008: The U.S. Justice Department is opposing a request from the Evangeline Parish (La.) School Board for more time to resolve desegregation concerns at Ville Platte High School. A hearing is set for Dec. 15 on whether the high school should be closed and its students bused to other schools in the parish. The 1930s-era facilities at Ville Platte High have long been at the center of the parish’s desegregation case. The Justice Department argues the school district has failed to meet desegregation mandates to improve the buildings and academic programs for the predominantly black student body. To read The Baton Rouge Advocate article, click here. FROM NOVEMBER 2008: The Evangeline Parish (La.) School Board argues that a U.S. Justice Department plan to reassign Ville Platte High School students would disrupt the school system with no significant effect on desegregation. A federal court hearing has scheduled a hearing next month to discuss the possible closure of the predominantly black Ville Platte High--at the center of the parish’s desegregation case because of its poor condition and academics. To read The Baton Rouge Advocate article, click here. EARLIER: After a third “no” vote on a bond proposal in little more than a year, Ville Platte (La.) High School faces closure next May at the urging of the United States Justice Department, which has called deficient academic programs and deteriorated facilities a vestige of past discrimination. To read The New York Times article, click here. ALSO: The Evangeline Parish (La.) School Board is battling to keep open Ville Platte High School while at the same time haggling with the U.S. Justice Department over where to send the school’s students in case of closure. To read The Baton Rouge Advocate article, click here. Ville Platte (La.) High School faces almost certain closure after voters shot down a $17 million bond proposal to build a new facility. It was the Evangeline Parish School Board’s third attempt in slightly more than a year to pass a bond to replace Ville Platte High, an aging facility at the center of the parish’s desegregation case.To read The Baton Rouge Advocate article, click here. FROM AUGUST 2008: The Evangeline Parish (La.) School Board will once again to ask voters in Ward 1 to approve on Nov. 4 to approve a bond proposal for a new Ville Platte High School. Voters rejected a $21.5 million proposal in July. The new proposal scales back the cost to $17.7 million by eliiminating plans for a new stadium complex. To read The Baton Rouge Advocate article, click here.

FROM 2007: Voters in the Evangeline Parish (La.) school district have rejected a $28.5 million bond proposal. The money would have enabled the district to build a new Ville Platte High School.
To read the KLFY-TV article, click here.

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