Lafayette Parish education stakeholders announce support for school tax

Members of the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council announce their support for a Lafayette Parish sales tax proposal. (Photo: Amanda McElfresh, The Advertiser)

LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) – More organizations are showing support for the half cent sales tax measure proposed by the Lafayette Parish School System.

Just last week, the Broussard City Council passed a resolution in support of the school system’s proposed tax measure and now the Lafayette Public Education Stakeholders Council (LaPESC) is also showing their support.

“We are proud to support this initiative and we would ask that the voters of Lafayette consider supporting this initiative on April 29,” said LaPESC member, Anita Begnaud.

LaPESC, a coalition of about 16 member organizations, stepped up Monday morning to show their support for the district’s tax measure.

“This is a really important measure to take care of the most fundamental needs of creating an infrastructure in which our kids can truly achieve,” said LaPESC member, Dr. Gerd Wuestemann.

“This is a major endorsement for our tax and we’re very appreciative,” said LPSS Superintendent, Dr. Don Aguillard.

Dr. Aguillard says the tax measure would allow for the removal of 248 temporary buildings on school campuses among additional projects.

“We got a couple of new construction projects in the proposal. Prairie Elementary School and Carencro Heights would get new schools, Lafayette High would get a freshman academy that would accomodate all of the core subjects for 9th graders along with perhaps a new cafeteria, as well as band/chorus areas,” explained Dr. Aguillard.

Dr. Aguillard says with the elimination of the metal buildings they also hope to enlarge cafeterias, add more bathrooms, fix up libraries, and add more space to administrative wings.

Dr. Wuestemann feels this is a neccessary investment.

“This is a critical tax measure at a critical time. We understand that a half cents sales tax increase over the next 10 years is a burden to all of us, but the burden that a non-functing public school system with dilapidated facilities, in which we really can’t send our kids to achieve and teach well, that’s a greater burden over the long term,” explained Dr. Wuestemann.

The tax measure will appear on the ballot for the April 29 election.

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