Residents voice concerns over future of Lutcher Elementary School

LUTCHER, LA (WAFB) - The fate of Lutcher Elementary School and its students is on shaky ground and on Tuesday, community members had the chance to give their take.

"I'd rather keep my child here where she's not a number," said one parent.

"I'm here with my granddaughter what happens to her moving all over the place?" said another parent.

Lawanda Carr listened intently as residents voiced concerns after a presentation by the St. James School System. Carr has two children at Lutcher Elementary and she, like other parents, were told there are three options. Those options include closing the school, turning the school into a community center or paying money to repair the school and keep it open.

"If they would have been putting money in school, they wouldn't have to spend as much to repair it. They've been upgrading other schools and not doing anything to this school," said Carr.

Superintendent Dr. Lonnie Luce cited decreasing enrollment numbers as one of the reasons the school board is considering closing Lutcher Elementary. The school district went through a similar scenario in the fall when it closed Romeville Elementary.

"I think that was a win, win situation for them and need to make sure we're doing same thing here and whatever decision, our kids get a quality education," said St. James Parish Councilman Jason Amato.

According to Carr and other parents, the best chance of giving the students at Lutcher Elementary a quality education means keeping them where they are.

"It's not right. You shouldn't put a dollar sign on a child's education. That should be first and that should be more important. They need to repair the school and keep it open," added Carr.

The options discussed at Tuesday's meeting are not set in stone and one more community input meeting is scheduled. The fate of Lutcher Elementary is expected to be decided in one of the two school board meetings scheduled for April.

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