SLAUGHTER, LA (WAFB) - Parents of children who attend Slaughter Elementary School are so frustrated with the school district that they have managed to gather enough signatures on a petition to inspire change.
They would like the board that controls the Slaughter Community Charter School (SCCS) to take over the public-run elementary school.
SCCS teacher, Stephanie Goudeau, knows a thing or two about balance. She teaches math and physical education. She is also a parent of a preschooler who attends Slaughter Elementary School, which is run by the East Feliciana Public School System. Goudeau said she prefers the way her school, the charter, is run, but it only enrolls students in grades 7 through 12. So her kid can't go there.
"One big thing is class size, especially at the younger age," Goudeau said. "The smaller the class size, the more efficiently the teacher can work."
Impressed by what the SCCS has done in the six short years it has been open, some parents are pushing for the SCCS Board to take over Slaughter Elementary.
"Our leadership at the district level has failed," said Lauren Flether, a parent. "It's failed our children, failed our teachers and staff. It's failed all of us."
While they are pleased with the "B" score the elementary school holds with the state, parents said they are disgusted with their children's learning environment.
"I've got my kids coming home daily. The bathrooms overflowed or theirs stuff leaking out the ceiling onto the lunch trays in the cafeteria," Fletcher added.
"That building is real old," said Grace Guy, another parent. "I'm 38 and I actually know people who are older than me that went to that same school."
The women have joined some 330 other parents who have signed a petition to ask the SCCS Board to take over the elementary school. The minimum signatures required is 275.
"They'd be two separate entities," said SCCS Principal Clint Ebey. "They'd just be managed by the same board."
He added there's a reason parents are pressing them to apply for the merger.
"We've been able to attract and retain high quality teachers. We have a very low turnover rate here. We are building a new facility next door. So, the financial management is just to put the money where the student is," Ebey explained.
If the application is approved, the earliest the merge could happen would be fall of 2018. East Feliciana School District Superintendent Carlos Sam said he plans to have an independent evaluator review the documents before making a recommendation to the board.
That deadline is June 1.
Sam added that Slaughter Elementary is set to receive $400,000 in improvements in the next 30 to 45 days, including upgrades to electricity and plumbing.