Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

Unitary status on school board agenda

wpsbThe hot topic of Unitary Status that has had citizens fired up will be at the top of the Webster Parish School Board agenda on Monday, March 11.

On the agenda for Monday's meeting will be a vote to approve a delay in taking any action on moving toward Unitary Status until communication between the school board and the community is established addressing the pros and cons of the system.

In addition, a motion will be considered authorizing the attorney to file a motion for unitary status in the matter styled "Gilbert et al v. WPSB".

"In my administration since I have been here, we have hired or attempted to hire more minorities than in the past," Steve Dozier, Superintendent of Webster Parish schools. "There isn't 36 percent of the graduates (African-American college graduates) out there, as far as I know. Other schools (Lincoln, Ouachita, Bossier districts) are grabbing those candidates and other districts pay more than we do. And at the beginning, we were not in a hiring mode. I eliminated a lot of positions," he said.

The need for quality teachers is important to the school system, according to Dozier.

"If the candidates are equal then the position and preference should be given to the African-American. But we shouldn't take anyone that is less of a teacher because of their race," he said.

Dozier believes that both sides want quality teachers. He doesn't believe that if the unitary status is lifted, that racial inequality will be a part of the school system's future.

"I have made my personnel office aware that we need to increase (minorities) but we also need to have quality teachers," he said.

Other items on the agenda will be approving expenditures, field trips and the 2013-2014 school calendar.

The meeting will take place at the Educationa Services Center at 6 p.m., Monday, March 11 and is open to the public.






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