Breaux Bridge – School board members last week balked at spending $40,900 for a carpentry class to be offered at the Louisiana Technical College’s Evangeline Campus in St. Martinville during the 2010-11 session.
They put off a final decision on the request by Millie Filer, the school’s director, until their September meeting.
Filer said the program for parish high school students was instituted in January 2009 and had provided instruction in basic carpentry skills for 50 youngsters, who are working to be certified as carpenter helpers.
The course was initially funded through a grant that has now expired. The $40,900 would cover the salary and benefits for the instructor, Gerald Porter.
Board president Aaron Flegeance urged approval of the expenditure, pointing out that “Seventy-five percent of our (high school) students don’t go to college, but we’re taching as if all are going ... we’re turning them off.”
“It’s a very good program,” Filer told the board. “The kids are really interested.”
And Porter said he has received strong support for the program from the Teche Area Builders Association as well as from local building material suppliers.
But District 4 board member Jimmy Blanchard complained that “This is a bad time to be asking the board to take money from the general fund. The state has come in with the program, and then cut funding.”
Some board members also expressed concern that some adults would be allowed in the class, although Filer said it would be restricted to high school students if the board made that a requirement.
An attempt to add approval of the request to the agenda failed, and the matter will be reconsidered at the board’s September meeting.
Under personnel action, the board approved Supt. Richard Lavergne’s recommendation and appointed Louis Blanchard as assistant principal at Breaux Bridge High School.
Blanchard, a veteran BBHS faculty member and coach, will fill a vacancy created by the recent appointment of former assistant principal Rene Angelle to the BBHS principalship.