School name should not change
I am writing in to inform the people of Eunice about a bill going to the LA State Legislature this week. I would like this be included as a letter to the editor. The requested text is below.
“On Wednesday May 31, the House Education Committee will hear a bill, Senate Bill 1 (SB1), to rename The Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts to the Jimmy D Long Sr Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts. The school was founded under legislation written by Rep Long and Sen Kelly in 1981 and has always operated as The Louisiana School. The school was opened to serve all of the students from Louisiana and we want to maintain that identity. The great state of Louisiana often gets a bad rap on things, but the school is a shining star for us. We have consistently been rated as one of the best schools in the United States with an unmatched faculty.
Many people may say, it’s just a name. Changing a name doesn’t come without cost. The state estimates that the cost to rename the school would be ~$200,000, that money would have to come from the state. From your tax dollars. Dollars are in short supply these days and so many other things could be done with this money.
We don’t take the legacy of Rep Long and the other founders lightly. The men involved with founding the school are our heroes. The auditorium on campus is named after Gov Treen, who signed the legislation, and the school’s board voted to name the new residence hall after Rep Long. The residence hall is the heart of a residential school. There is no greater honor to be given someone.
I was born and raised in Eunice, while I no longer reside there, it will always be home for me. I graduated from the school in 1995 after going through the public school system in Eunice. My heart is there. I don’t want the people of my hometown to go without because of some legislation which takes money away from the things they need.
I ask that all of the residents of Eunice and surrounding parishes that read this to ask their representatives to vote against SB1. The House Education committee will vote next week. Please be active in this. It impacts all of you.
Eric J Fontenot LSMSA c/o 1995”