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Good News: Report on deseg work "very favorable"

Good News: Report on deseg work "very favorable"
Posted: Sep 17, 2019
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AMITE---Tangipahoa School Superintendent Melissa Stilley announced Tuesday night that an annual review of the district’s efforts in the longstanding Joyce Marie Moore desegregation case was “very favorable,” signaling that negotiations are going very well and district leaders remain optimistic that the case continues to inch closer to a resolution.

In a report filed this week by the federal court’s compliance officer, Donald Massey positively outlined “all we’ve been doing to resolve this case,” Stilley said told the Tangipahoa School Board and the public during Tuesday’s Board meeting.

Stilley said the 44-page annual report was submitted to the court this week. It is the latest piece in a series of good reports the district has offered the public on the more than 50-year-old case.

In his report, Massey says, "The parties are working together in serious, productive efforts to arrive at an agreement on which they, the CCO and the CDIO all agree. All involved are optimistic that there may be a formal proposal in the form of a proposed consent judgment to present to the Court in the near future. In a short period of time, relative to the age o this case, the nature and tone of the interactions among the parties has largely shifted from combative too collaborative. This critical shift in approach was signaled by the collaborative style of TPSB's immediate past President, Therese Domiano. her efforts to work through difficult ISAP (student assignment plan) issues brought the parties to a much needed consent. That consent was followed by TPSB's hiring Melissa Stilley as its new Superintendent. Superintendent Stilley began her tenure at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year with a spirit of cooperation and genuine openness to discuss and address difficult issues. She followed through with an extensive planning process and detailed plans for implementation."

Stilley praised the Board who voted early this year to declare a “cease fire” and concentrate instead on negotiating with the plaintiffs to find a resolution to the case. She said those continued negotiations are reason for great optimism and she has said publicly that she hopes to be able to say very soon that the case is resolved.
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