Board member, vocalist discusses desegregation case

If you typed in “Chicken Farm Road Boys” in an internet search, you would probably not be expecting to find a member of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board.  Yet Andy Anderson, an Amite native, has been on the Tangipahoa Parish School Board since 2010.

He is a great vocalist and has performed at over 100 weddings and funerals.  Anderson is also a member of a country and bluegrass group called the “Chicken Farm Road Boys”. He also enjoys spending time with grandchildren Anderson and Anna Katherine and playing golf but claims to be terrible at it.

He received his bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University.  After college he was an educator for 20 years and a principal for 12 years.  While he only became a school board member in 2010, he has worked with the school board since 1974.

He was a very active student at Amite High school by playing sports and a member of FBLA and the band.  Unfortunately the very desegregation case that still looms over the school board forced Anderson to be court ordered to Loranger High School which was 11 miles away and forced his class to attend three different schools.

Anderson feels with several plans throughout the years such as buffer zones and changing lines within the parish may eventually be effective.  According to Anderson, the case seemed to be making progress in the early 1980’s but the case was then assigned a different judge who did not see any need to reconcile the case

The case became dormant for about 15 years and then Hurricane Katrina happened.  It caused attendance to increase from 100,000-150,000.

“Katrina has been a big, big factor in last five years.”

Anderson feels the desegregation case has cost a lot of money for the parish. He wants to incorporate new programs into schools. He feels the school board is not spending money on the right things instead of this case.

He wants to see and incorporate more vocational programs in high schools and have students more job ready when leaving high school.  Anderson would like to see computer technology, culinary, arts, and medical programs put into high school curriculum’s.

“That’s where we should be spending our money; I want to focus on the kids.”

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