From Caddo Parish School Board

Caddo School Audit Reveals Substantial Deficiencies in Construction Project Expenditures


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015It’s a good thing that a recent internal audit of the Caddo School Board’s Capital Construction and Projects Department (CCPD) surfaced this August—versus last year this time when the School Board was pushing the renewal of a school tax bond. This report should cause some concern by the School Board, which after the last Board election has operated as a rubber stamp for Superintendent Goree. However many skeptics doubt that the 2014 Bond defeat has changed much of the tax and spend mentality on Midway. [[2015 Internal Audit from CPSB]]

Patrick Williams SPECIAL!

At the time of the audit, the CCPD had 138 special projects for the 2014/2015 fiscal year; these projects are typically not approved by the Board. A review of 20 of these revealed serious problems: no documentation as to who requested or approved the project; no contracts, or proof of insurance or performance bonds in the Read more

Tale of 2 School Plans: Caddo & East Baton Rouge

Re-Image Caddo Coverby Elliott Stonecipher

‘Tis the season, I suppose.  With its massive property tax – and more? – election coming next spring, our Caddo Parish School Board and sizable central office staff are now rolling out another “strategic plan.”  The current draft of this latest one is a 37-pager (here).

With Kisatchie Forest-like density, the new plan is entitled “Re-Imagine Caddo:  The Plan for Excellence.”  We should take care not to mistake it for last year’s “Re-Invest in Caddo” plan, or its notorious tax-and-spend-on-steroids predecessor, “Vision 2020.

Elliott_StonecipherEven our school board members are not likely to read this one, and Superintendent Lamar Goree’s appeals notwithstanding, neither is the public.  Here is a sample paragraph, verbatim, from Page 9 to give readers a feel for that to which we are treated:

“1.  Implement RtI (Response to Intervention) with fidelity including Read more

Kacee Hargrove Kirschvink Sticks It to Education PAC; Black CPSB Members Stick it to District 11

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015As if the Caddo Parish School Board (CPSB) did not have enough PR problems, the 6 black board members have further dug their popularity grave deeper with the voters of District 11 which encompasses most of Southern Hills. In what can only be classified as a major surprise, if not shock, the CPSB selected Shalanda Swift-Watkins to the District 11 seat until the fall elections. The back story on this board selection is just as interesting as the politic dynamics that resulted in the selection of a black lady to represent an overwhelmingly white district. (Voter registration is District 11 is 73% white, 24% black and 3% other.)

Kacee Hargrove Kirschvink
Kacee Hargrove Kirschvink

Kirschvinck, known to most as Kaycee Hargrove, unseated 2 term incumbent Ginger Armstrong in last fall’s primary election; Parker Ward was a distance third. Kaycee received substantial campaign funds from a then new formed education PAC that successfully supported 4 other challengers to incumbent board members. The motivation of the education PAC became quite obvious at the first meeting of the newly elected Board in Read more

CPSB “Special Selection” Deadline Danger!

by Marion Marks

Quicksand sign-Board MembersSadly, a recently elected school board member, Kacee Hargrave Kirschvink, who had good experience in handling difficult matters has resigned. However, the CPSB is using strings and poor judgement in an attempt to fill the seat in haste and without necessary time for many potential good candidates to consider running for the open seat. The deadline of seven (7) days to file for the open seat selection is unnecessarily short, even when the board has twenty (20) days to fill the temporary seat as suggested.

It appears the haste will force citizens to make a knee-jerk decision because the timeline is dictated by forces the CPSB can claim as exigent conditions. Sadly for District Eleven, the vacancy leaves a hole in the board’s ability to ram through Read more

Predicting the CPSB Mentality in Loss

by Marion Marks

i_votedBelieving there are abundant factual reasons to believe that Elliott Stonecipher was accurate in his assessment of the CPSB Bond election results, “… the boss-people’s secrecy that killed the plan. We have a mature population here, and we have seen every political trick in the book from local elected and other officials.”

I still believe that Superintendent Goree had raised the morale and the stakes for many of the failing schools he was saddled with, but the path he and the board must navigate are littered with bodies and remnants of mines from those whose agenda is marked by personal territories and profits for Read more

The CPSB Victory Party That Wasn’t

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

When the Caddo Parish School Board’s error-plagued tax plan failed at the polls yesterday, it was a much bigger deal than most will conclude.  The outcome beat the conventional wisdom and broad expectation well established in our electoral behavior:  “These things always pass.”

“These things” are the poison which has brought Caddo to its economic and population-stagnation knees.

Vote Smart“These things” is code for gatherings of powerful for-profit interests whenever they decide business is slow enough here to need a public bond issue … run through some local governmental body.  “Hey, guys, let’s get those school board people to slap together a list of new schools and stuff in one of those bond deals and get Read more

Why Caddo Voted the Way They Did

sheep-Vote-NO-CPSBlby Marion Marks

Monday morning quarterbacks always have 20-20 vision interpreting election results, and the two bond issues Saturday, that had different results, are no exception. Here is my simplistic interpretation of why one passed and another failed.

The Biomed Bond which cost taxpayers the least of the two passed by a handy margin for the following reasons:

  1. Well-targeted print, air-wave advertising messages that were easy for general public to translate into a “Yes” vote. Read more