The Lafourche Parish School Board has time and again refused to save the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a year be reducing its number of members.

By going down from 15 to nine members, the board could save an estimated $100,000 a year. That is a significant savings. But it’s not even the most important improvement a size reduction would offer. Setting the number of board members at nine would allow the board to align its districts with those used by the Parish Council, significantly simplifying the political grid for the entire parish.

But that reform has been defeated repeatedly.

Now, though, in the waning months of the current board members’ terms, some on the board have begun to cast about for savings a changes they can force on future board members.

The current board saw an attempt last week at taking away the mileage reimbursement offered to board members when they drive to meetings.

That is not a lavish expense or an unfair perk. It merely compensates members for their gas. And for some of the members, a long drive to meetings means a big bill for gas.

Fortunately, that effort was defeated.

But the board did agree to take away reimbursements for future board members’ Internet costs.

That makes sense. Paying for board members’ Internet was always a bad idea. The voters have to pay for their own Internet services. Why shouldn’t board members?

In the end, this is far too little and far too late.

The board has had numerous opportunities to be better stewards of the public’s money. And time after time, they have failed to do so. Pushing savings measures onto the next board when the current board was unwilling to shoulder any of the burden seems like a desperate move by those seeking re-election rather than sincere attempts to spend responsibly.

The parish has subsidized one of the three largest boards in the state for far too long. And those who have failed to fix this one glaring shortcoming shouldn’t try to cling to their political posts by making minor changes that will affect future board members.

It is time for a change of direction on the School Board. The public has asked for real cost savings and simplification of the system. That is what the people deserve.


Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.