ST. TAMMANY, La. -- Katy Monnot keeps tabs on the local family scene with her blog and Facebook page, Northshore Parent. Part of that scene this week has been talk of a new state law affecting schools across the state.
The law says children in D or F graded schools in their parish can switch to A, B or C graded schools in a neighboring parish.
'I like neighborhood schools and I thought this would, this is not a neighborhood school thing,' said Monnot, a mother of four. 'And so when I proposed it, the residents of St. Tammany in particular, because I do have followers in Tangipahoa, the residents of St. Tammany were very opposed to this idea. We had some readers in Washington that were excited about it and were talking about trying to get their kids into St. Tammany.'
But Thursday night, the St. Tammany school board approved a policy addressing that law with several requirements of its own.
First, schools with 80 percent capacity or with portable buildings won't apply to avoid overcrowding. Second, the district where the student would be coming from would have to turn over the state money assigned to that student, as well as hundreds of dollars more to cover extra expenses, like building maintenance costs.
'Reading the requirements, we went about putting a policy in place that would protect our system and make sure the people that live in St. Tammany Parish are the ones that we serve first and foremost,' said St. Tammany Superintendent Trey Folse said.
The school district is assuring the community that children who live in St. Tammany and parents who pay taxes there will remain the priority.
'We want to be good neighbors, we want to be part of building public education in Louisiana,' said Folse. 'But my number one charge and my number one focus is to make sure we do everything we can to educate as best as possible the students that live in St. Tammany Parish.'
But for parents, the conversation still very much continues.
Folse said at least 10 other superintendents have asked for a copy of the district's new policy on this topic, which he has forwarded to them.