How Many Lawyers Can a School Board Need?

Perhaps this is sadder than any of the “Lawyer Jokes…” How many lawyers does it take to try to fix the legal issues of the Caddo Parish School Board? It’s like what do you throw a drowning lawyer? (answer: the partners.)
Well, John Settle, through another Louisiana Information Demand to the Caddo Parish School Board, finally got  the answer to the golden question of the number and cost of the attorneys. The MAGIC number is an average of $850,000+ per year. Let’s see, how many full-time high-powered legal minds could you hire for that amount of money? (see full list at end of article) We’re betting there would be many under-employed bright legal minds standing in the application line, about as many who show up for some job-opening announcements downtown. It’s not enough that they throw money at central office money-losing projects to give private lunch rooms or embroidery-monogram shops on-site. They have to pay for personal legal advice to correct many “screw-ups” that are the result of board member or central office negligence. A look at some of the cases and also penalties that have been paid shows what poor decisions they have consistently made.

One need only look at the many complaints that have resulted in modifications in policies and procedures to understand the failures in leadership. But citizens must accept some responsibility for the high cost of litigation and legal advice. When you fail to elect intelligent and responsible leadership, you reap the fruit of poor judgement. It would be a sad report card that would be posted for the Caddo Citizenry if they were graded by the performance of their School Board. This may be the grading on select subjects:

Leadership: F
Governance: F
Fiscal Oversight: F
Long-Term Planning: F
Budgetary Foresight: F
Purchase Order Management: F
Legal Support Services: D- (Because it could be worse!)
Community Support of Long-Range Planning: F

We’re sorry members of the Caddo Parish School Board and the Central Office core leadership, but you failed your LEAP test. Summer School was also a failure, and you should have to stay in Detention until you learn how to work together better, clean up your house, scrub your budget and follow the Federal Guidelines for running a public education system. In case you haven’t read the Louisiana Department of Education Scorecard, Caddo has more failing schools than the next two highest districts added together.

In short, you win the prize. And it’s not one we are very proud to give. CHECK OUT THE FULL LIST OF LAW FIRMS HERE