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St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, Louisiana

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St. Tammany Parish Public Schools
Covington, Louisiana
St. Tammany Parish Public School System logo.jpg
District Profile
Superintendent:W.L. "Trey" Folse III
Enrollment:37,058
Graduation rate:79.3%[1]
Number of schools:54
Budget: $387.7 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Elizabeth B. Heintz (R)
Board members:15 partisan
Term length:4 years
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools is a school district in Louisiana. In the 2011-2012 school year, St. Tammany Parish was the fourth-largest school district in Louisiana and served 37,058 students.[2]

About the district

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools is located in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools lies in southeastern Louisiana in St. Tammany Parish. The seat of parish government is Covington. St. Tammany Parish was home to approximately 242,333 residents according to 2013 estimates by the United States Census Bureau.[3]

Demographics

St. Tammany Parish overperformed compared to the rest of Louisiana in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 30 percent of St. Tammany Parish residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 21.4 percent for Louisiana as a whole. The median household income for the parish was $60,813 compared to $44,673 statewide. The poverty rate in the parish was 10.8 percent compared to 18.7 percent for the entire state.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2013[3]
Race St. Tammany Parish (%) Louisiana (%)
White 84.4 63.5
Black or African American 12.0 32.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 0.8
Asian 1.4 1.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.6 1.5
Hispanic or Latino 5.2 4.7

Presidential Voting Pattern, St. Tammany Parish[4]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 25,728 84,723
2008 24,596 83,078
2004 24,665 75,139
2000 22,722 59,193

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[5] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Superintendent

The superintendent of St. Tammany Parish Schools is W.L. "Trey" Folse III who began his tenure on July 1, 2010. He is the district's 13th superintendent.[6] From 2003 to his appointment as superintendent, he served as deputy superintendent in the district.[7]

Press [show] on the table on the right to display all the superintendents in the district's history and their starting dates.

School board

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools is overseen by a school board comprised of 15 partisan members who are elected to represent geographical districts for four-year terms. The partisan affiliation in the table below represents the affiliation which the officeholder held in his or her most recent election.

St. Tammany Parish School Board
District Member Partisan
Affiliation
Term
Began
Term
Ends
1 Neal M. Hennegan Republican Republican Party January 1, 1995 December 31, 2018
2 Elizabeth B. Heintz Republican Republican Party January 1, 1999 December 31, 2018
3 Michael "Mike" J. Dirmann Democratic Democratic Party January 1, 2003 December 31, 2018
4 Stephen "Jack" J. Loup III Republican Republican Party January 1, 2007 December 31, 2018
5 Charles T. Harrell Republican Republican Party January 1, 2003 December 31, 2018
6 Michael C. Nation Republican Republican Party January 1, 2015 December 31, 2018
7 Willie "Coach" Jeter Democratic Democratic Party January 1, 2011 December 31, 2018
8 Peggy H. Seeley Republican Republican Party January 1, 2011 December 31, 2018
9 Sharon Lo Drucker Republican Republican Party January 1, 2015 December 31, 2018
10 Ronald "Ron" Bettencourtt Republican Republican Party January 1, 2003 December 31, 2018
11 Robert "Bob" R. Womack Republican Republican Party January 1, 2007 December 31, 2018
12 Richard Hursey Appointed February 2, 2015 October 2015
13 Robin Mullett Republican Republican Party January 1, 2015 December 31, 2018
14 Anthony Alfred Appointed October 2014 March 2015
15 Mary K. Bellisario Republican Republican Party January 1, 1995 December 31, 2018

School board elections

See also: St. Tammany Parish Public Schools special elections (2015)

The 15 school board members are elected concurrently by district in partisan elections. This means that regular school board elections are held every four years with all members being up for re-election at that time. Additionally, all members are elected by a geographically defined district which they represent. Any member who at the end of his or her term has served more than two and one-half terms in the last three consecutive terms cannot be re-elected in the following term. However, they can be re-elected following the one term break. This term limit first took effect with terms beginning on or after January 2015 and does not apply retroactively to terms started prior to that date.[8]

School board candidates in Louisiana are elected by majority vote, which means the winner must receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast in the general election to win the seat. Runoff elections are held between the top two candidates for races where no candidate receives a majority. Candidates who are unopposed at the end of a candidate filing period are considered elected as of that date.[8]

Fifteen seats were up for general election on November 4, 2014. Special elections for the District 14 and 12 seats will be held on March 28, 2015, and October 24, 2015, respectively. The next general election will be in November 2018.

Public participation in board meetings

The St. Tammany Parish School Board maintains the following policies on public testimony during board meetings on their website:

Addressing the Board

Individuals or groups requesting time on the agenda for a Board meeting are recognized at the beginning of each meeting. Individuals wishing to request time on the agenda must submit written notification to the Superintendent by noon on the Monday before the Board meeting. The request needs to state the matter to be addressed. If the request is from a delegation or organization, comments before the Board are made by a spokesperson for the group. Persons making written requests for time on the agenda are given five minutes for their presentations. Also, citizens who have not requested prior approval in writing may address the Board by signing a request to speak sheet no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled meeting time. In this case, speakers may address the Board for up to three minutes. Additionally, citizens may offer comments on the subject of the Board motion prior to any vote taken by the Board.

Visitors are recognized at the beginning of each meeting. Board Members have the privilege of having persons in the audience recognized. At the discretion of the Board President, persons who have not requested time on the agenda are recognized at the end of the meeting, after all other agenda items.[9]

—St. Tammany Parish Public Schools website, (2014), [10]

Budget

The table below displays the budget for St. Tammany Parish Public Schools:[11]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2013-2014 $269,134,687 70.5% $57,405,275 15% $53,661,773 14.1% $0 0% $1,477,000 0.4% $381,678,735
2014-2015 $280,851,840 72.4% $56,436,010 14.6% $49,150,619 12.7% $0 0% $1,294,550 0.3% $387,733,019
Averages: $274,993,263.5 71% $56,920,642.5 15% $51,406,196 13% $0 0% $1,385,775 0% $384,705,877

Teacher salaries

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools employs 5,532 people including 3,145 certificated employees and 266 National Board Certified employees. Teacher salaries are categorized based on higher education achievement and years of service. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate courses with raises at credit intervals. In the 2014-2015 school year, 47 percent of the district's teachers held advanced degrees. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries. Merit pay can also be given to teachers who are evaluated as "highly effective."[12][13]

Salaries also vary based on whether employees were hired before or after June 30, 2014 and number of month for which a contract runs. The following table details the salary schedule for teachers for the 2014-2015 fiscal year:[13]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
Bachelor's degree 44,248 79,418
Master's degree 44,559 83,198
Master's + 30 44,843 84,765
Educational specialist 45,109 86,934
Ph.D or Ed.D 45,384 88,964

Schools in St. Tammany Parish Public Schools

Enrollment

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools served 37,058 students in the 2011-2012 school year.[2] The district does not publicly archive enrollment data on its website.

District schools

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools operates 54 schools which are listed below in alphabetical order:

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools
School Name
A-Le Li-Z
Abita Springs Elementary Little Oak Middle
Abita Springs Middle Little Pearl Elementary
Abney Early Childhood Center Lyon Elementary
Abney Elementary Madisonville Elementary
Alton Elementary Madisonville Junior High
Bayou Lacombe Middle Magnolia Trace Elementary
Bayou Woods Elementary Mandeville Elementary
Bonne Ecole Elementary Mandeville High
Boyet Junior High Mandeville Junior High
Brock Elementary Mandeville Middle
Carolyn Park Middle Marigny Elementary
Chahta-Ima Elementary Mayfield Elementary
Clearwood Junior High Monteleone Junior High
Covington Elementary Northshore High
Covington High Pearl River High
Creekside Junior High Pine View Middle
Cypress Cove Elementary Pitcher Junior High
Fifth Ward Junior High Pontchartrain Elementary
Florida Avenue Elementary Riverside Elementary
Folsom Elementary St. Tammany Junior High
Folsom Junior High Salmen High
Fontainebleau High Sixth Ward Elementary
Fontainebleau Junior High Slidell High
Honey Island Elementary Slidell Junior High
Lake Harbor Middle Tchefuncte Middle
Lakeshore High Whispering Forest Elementary
Lancaster Elementary Woodlake Elementary
Lee Road Junior High

Academic performance

Louisiana administers three main sets of tests to measure the academic performance of K-12 students: DIBELS Next, iLEAP and End-of-Course tests. Additionally, districts are given a letter ranking of A-F based on performance across all grades of students.

DIBELS Next

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills test, also known as DIBELS Next, is administered to K-3 students statewide. The test places students into one of three categories. Those who meet the benchmark levels are placed in the "core" category, indicating they only need core reading curriculum going forward. The other two categories indicate students who need "strategic" or "intensive" intervention in reading education. The following chart outlines the percentage of students in the district in each of the categories:[14]

DIBELS Next results[15]
Testing date Kindergarten 1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade
Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%) Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%) Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%) Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%)
Spring 2013 59 21 20 61 15 24 67 16 17 69 14 17
Fall 2012 57 18 25 60 13 27 74 10 15 73 10 16
Spring 2012 53 24 24 57 16 28 68 17 15 70 12 18
Fall 2011 56 17 27 52 16 33 70 12 18 73 9 18

iLEAP and LEAP

LEAP and iLEAP percentile ranks[15]
Year Mastery and
above (%)
Basic and
above (%)
2014 District 35 34
Statewide 24 69
2013 District 82 81
Statewide 23 66
2012 District N/A 80
Statewide N/A 68

Louisiana 3rd through 8th grade students statewide are tested annually in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. These tests are called iLEAP and LEAP.

On both tests, students can earn the following scores:

  • Advanced: A student demonstrates superior performance in the subject.
  • Mastery: A student demonstrates competency of challenging subject matter and is well prepared for the next level of schooling.
  • Basic: A student demonstrates only fundamental knowledge and skills in the subject.
  • Approaching Basic: A student only partially demonstrates the fundamental knowledge and skills of the subject.
  • Unsatisfactory: A student does not demonstrate the fundamental knowledge and skills.[9]

Louisiana Department of Education website, (2014), [16]

The table on the right compares the percentage of district students scoring either mastery and higher or basic and higher on the iLEAP and LEAP with the statewide averages. The percentage of mastery and higher is not available prior to 2013 results.

End-of-course tests

High school students in Louisiana take end-of-course tests in algebra I, geometry, English II and III, biology and U.S. history. The students receive one of the following four scores on each test:

  • Excellent: A student demonstrates superior performance of the course content.
  • Good: A student demonstrates mastery of course content and is well prepared for the next level of coursework in the subject.
  • Fair: A student demonstrates only the fundamental knowledge and skills needed for the next level of coursework in the subject.
  • Needs Improvement: A student does not demonstrate the fundamental knowledge and skills needed for the next level of coursework in the subject.[9]

Louisiana Department of Education website, (2014), [17]

In the 2013-2014 school year, 77 percent of students taking end-of-course tests across all subjects in the district earned a grade of good or excellent. This was up 2 percent from 75 percent in 2012-2013.[15]

District letter grade

Louisiana uses a letter grade system of A through F to describe school performance scores. The table on the right outlines the district's letter score by year. The scores are based on the following measurements:

A-F Letter Grade Results[18]
Year Performance
score
Letter
grade
2014 104.9 A
2013 104.6 A
  • Elementary schools (K-6): 100 percent of the school grade is based on student achievement on annual assessments in English language arts, math, science, and social studies. Schools may also earn points for significant improvement with students who are academically behind.
  • Middle schools (7-8): 95 percent of the school grade is based on student achievement on annual assessments with the final 5 percent based on credits earned through the end of students’ 9th grade year. Schools may also earn points for significant improvement with students who are academically behind.
  • High schools (9-12): Half of the school grade is based on student achievement (25 percent on the ACT and 25 percent on End-of-Course assessments). Half of the school grade is based on graduation (25 percent on the graduation index, which rewards achievements like Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam credit, and 25 percent on the cohort graduation rate, the percentage of students graduating in four years). Schools may also earn points for significant improvement with students who are academically behind.[9]

Louisiana Department of Education website, (2014), [19]

Issues

Term limits

Terms won in the 2014 election were the first to be affected by the imposition of term limits on school board members in the parish. On November 6, 2012, St. Tammany Parish voters elected by a majority of 84.94 percent to instate term limits.


Ballot text:

LOCAL OPTION ELECTION

Within St. Tammany Parish School District: Shall the number of terms of office that any member of the school board may serve be limited to three consecutive four-year terms?[9]

Louisiana Secretary of State's website, (2014), [20]



Parishwide School District Local Option
Term Limits Proposition (2012)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 87,373 84.94%
No15,49615.06%

Starting with terms that began on or after January 1, 2015, any member who, at the end of his or her term, has served more than two and one-half terms in the last three consecutive terms cannot be re-elected in the following term. However, they can be re-elected following the one term break. The limit does not apply retroactively to incumbents, thus allowing them to potentially serve up to 12 more years.[21][8]

ADA Harry Pastuszek controversy

Spending on legal counsel by the school board to Assistant District Attorney Harry Pastuszek came under criticism following the revelation that the district had paid more than $500,000 for the services in the last year. The practice of assistant district attorneys providing legal council to school boards is common in Louisiana. However, the payment for those services is a complicated manner. Whether these deals are seen as a public service that is compensated through the district attorney's office or a private arrangement that is compensated directly with the lawyer providing the services varies.[22]

In the case of the St. Tammany School Board, the school board has paid Pastuszek directly for legal services. The district paid him $440,666 in 2011, $475,194 in 2012 and $545,399 in 2013.[22]

Common Core

See also: Common Core State Standards Initiative

Although the school board approved a resolution calling on the state to drop the Common Core standards in October 2013, the topic was not closed. At the September 11, 2014, school board meeting, 10 people spoke to the school board to express their dissatisfaction with the mathematics curriculum being taught under the Common Core. While Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has sued the federal government over Common Core, Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White has been a strong supporter.[23][24]

Contact information

St. Tammany Parish Public School System logo.jpg
St. Tammany Parish Public School System
321 N. Theard St.
P.O. Box 940
Covington, LA 70434-0940
Phone: 985-892-2276

See also

External links

BP-Initials-UPDATED.png
Suggest a link

References

  1. Louisiana Department of Education, "District and State Graduation Rates (2005-2006 to 2012-2013)," accessed November 24, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed June 17, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 United States Census Bureau, "St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, Quick Facts," accessed September 3, 2014
  4. Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Results," accessed September 2, 2014
  5. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  6. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools Photograph/Document Archives, "Superintendents of Schools St. Tammany Parish," accessed December 3, 2014
  7. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, "Board Briefing," May 2010
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Louisiana Secretary of State, "QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES," accessed September 2, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, "Meeting Guidelines," accessed December 3, 2014
  11. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, "Finance," accessed November 5, 2013
  12. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, "2014-2015 Quick Facts," accessed December 3, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, "Certificated Salary Schedules and Policies," accessed December 3, 2014
  14. Louisiana Department of Education, "DIBELS Next," accessed November 24, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Louisiana Department of Education, "Test Results," accessed November 24, 2014
  16. Louisiana Department of Education, "Annual Assessments," accessed November 24, 2014
  17. Louisiana Department of Education, "End-of-Course Tests," accessed November 24, 2014
  18. Louisiana Department of Education, "Performance Scores," accessed November 24, 2014
  19. Louisiana Department of Education, "School Letter Grades," accessed November 24, 2014
  20. Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Election Results," accessed September 12, 2014
  21. Louisiana Secretary of State, "HOW ARE CANDIDATES ELECTED?," accessed September 2, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 The New Orleans Advocate, "Tammany DA’s arrangement with School Board raises questions," September 4, 2014
  23. The Times-Picayune, "Common Core opposition again visits St. Tammany Parish School Board," September 11, 2014
  24. Politico, "Bobby Jindal sues federal government over the Common Core," August 27, 2014