Jefferson Parish school year will start next week despite demands for a delay

Student return to school next week in JP

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng says she asked school district officials to consider a late start date for the school year because of the ongoing pandemic. We spoke with her Thursday following an emotionally charged school board meeting Wednesday night.

Teachers and parents expressed safety concerns about returning to the classroom. Despite demands to delay the start of classes, as it stands now, students will return on August 12.

Lee Sheng says the school board is a separate governing authority and therefore has the executive jurisdiction to set the school calendar.

“Even under the emergency proclamations that I have done as Parish President, our legal attorneys say that is not an option for me to do,” said Lee Sheng. ”To me, a three-week delay to see where we are, coming off of this, was my ask of them, but of course, I want to respect their authority.”

There was a motion to delay the start of school during Wednesday night’s board meeting. But, when taken up in executive session, the board delayed that vote.

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