By Carolyn Roy
One of the most important decisions to affect public education in Natchitoches Parish in 35 years has been made by a federal court judge.
At the committee meeting Tuesday, Supt. of Schools Dale Skinner said he received a call late Friday from U.S. Federal Judge Dee Drell saying he had granted a motion for declaration of unitary status for the local school system.
Skinner would not comment on what the declaration will mean to local schools since there will be a meeting Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. for attorneys to detail the ramifications of the decision.
Generally, it means the school board can make its own decisions about staffing and student assignment without oversight from a federal judge.
Skinner said that every facet of the system, from teachers to lunchroom workers, had played a part in the outcome.
While there have been many reasons for the declaration, a major part has been the effort for board Personnel Director Linda Page to recruit minority teachers.
He also believes that the system improving from a C to a B District was a factor. “We are improving and we’re doing a lot of good things.”
The Natchitoches Parish School Board has been under a federal court desegregation order since 1981.
See the Thursday edition of the Natchitoches Times for more information on the court decision.