Posts filed under ‘Caddo Parish School Board’

Top 10 Reasons to Vote NO May 2nd: #5, #4, #3‏

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Elliott_StonecipherBy Elliott Stonecipher

(This is one in a continuing series of articles concerning the Caddo Parish School Board property tax millage proposition. If approved by voters, CPSB nets another $108,000,000 for brick and mortar projects. The election is next Saturday, May 2.)
April 25, 2015

This article is the new installment in my countdown of the Top 10 Reasons to vote “NO” on the Caddo Parish School Board’s tax-and-spend-and-debt plan. For those who missed Reasons #10 and #9, click here, and for Reasons #8, #7, and #6, here.

REASONS #5, #4, and #3:

#5. What We Don’t Know Always Hurts Us — This Time Particularly So

(more…)

April 25, 2015 8:06 pm

#8, #7, #6 of Top 10 Reasons to Vote NO May 2nd

My Top 10[6-8]

by Elliott Stonecipher

(This is one in a continuing series of articles concerning the Caddo Parish School Board property tax millage proposition set for a May 2, 2015 election.  If approved by voters, CPSB nets another $108,000,000 for new schools and other buildings.)

This article continues my countdown of Top 10 Reasons to vote “NO” on the Caddo Parish School Board’s tax-and-spend-and-debt plan.  For those who missed reasons #10 and #9, click here.

REASONS #8, #7, and #6

#8.  It’s Our School System, Not Theirs … Disrespect of Citizens, Part 1   

flipflop BarryBarry Rachal is the school board member in my district who has for years stridently opposed the building of new Caddo Parish public schools.  Now, Rachal has inexplicably flip-flopped.  He, alongside fellow member Larry Ramsey, has (more…)

April 22, 2015 1:14 pm

Top 10 Reasons to Vote NO on May 2nd: #10, #9

My Top 10by Elliott Stonecipher

(This is one in a continuing series of articles concerning the Caddo Parish School Board property tax millage proposition set for a May 2, 2015 election.  If approved by voters, CPSB nets another $108,000,000 for new schools and other buildings.)

As the Caddo Parish School Board has rolled-out its tax plan over the past weeks, the list of reasons for voters to kill it, and send the board and staff back to the drawing board, grows and grows.  Beginning here, I will boil the opposition case down to my Top 10 Reasons to Vote NO!

Elliott_StonecipherI began this months-long effort of research and writing last September.  This article is the fifteenth in the series.  I hope and trust the work explains to Caddo residents that taxing and spending and borrowing is already strangling the economic life out of our parish.  Passing this plan will certainly hasten that process.

TOP 10 REASONS TO VOTE “NO” ON MAY 2ND!

#10.  This Plan is for Taxing-and-Spending-and-Debt, Not Better Educations for Our Children

This CPSB plan includes just about zero for the all-important academic side of the educational equation.  Neither does it do anything to (more…)

April 19, 2015 11:28 am

No CPSB Response to Its Graduation Rate Fail

diplomaMillby Elliott Stonecipher

(This is one in a continuing series of articles concerning the Caddo Parish School Board property tax millage proposition set for a May 2, 2015 election.  If approved by voters, CPSB nets another $108,000,000 for new schools and other buildings.)

News of our annual and awful Caddo school system graduation rate broke last week.  We graduated only 67.7% of our system’s Class of 2014. Elliott_Stonecipher

More honestly said, one-in-three Caddo Parish students stepped into official adulthood last year without a high school education.  We well know they were woefully unprepared for what awaited them.

As we yet again suffer digestion of this failing, we have heard no (more…)

April 12, 2015 11:18 am

CPSB Debt Would Top a Quarter-Billion Dollars …

Business Sharksby Elliott Stonecipher

(This is one in a continuing series of articles concerning the Caddo Parish School Board property tax millage proposition set for a May 2, 2015 election.  If approved by voters, CPSB nets another $108,000,000 for new schools and other buildings.)

New research confirms that Caddo Parish School Board debt will rise to more than $250,000,000 if voters approve the tax plan set for a vote next month.  The debt total is far higher than school board members and top staff acknowledge in their current campaign in favor of the tax and debt plan.   

The tax plan includes nothing for instructional programs or teacher and other employee pay, and instead is designed around the construction of new schools in Southeast Shreveport, Blanchard and Central Shreveport, at a combined cost of $56,820,000. A long list of additional brick and mortar projects runs the plan’s total taxpayer tab up to $108,000,000 in new debt.Elliott_Stonecipher   

The school board and staff are not saying why the list of building projects have not and will not be funded by existing, related categories of property taxes, including Maintenance & Operation, Special Renovations, and (more…)

April 6, 2015 8:26 am

University Elementary Sacrificed in CPSB Tax Plan

Elliott_Stonecipher(This is one in a continuing series of articles concerning the Caddo Parish School Board property tax millage proposition set for a May 2, 2015 election.  If approved by voters, CPSB nets another $108,000,000 for new schools and other buildings.)

by Elliott Stonecipher

Readers may be aware that the Caddo Parish School Board and staff have decided they will not answer questions from the public when they – public employees – present their tax plan in public meetings held in public buildings.  If they were willing to answer questions, I would ask this one:

May 2 Bond Election_the-clock“The core of your tax plan is the building of a $24,500,000 school in Southeast Shreveport, regardless that no school there is needed, and that building it seriously damages University Elementary School.  How do you explain this to parents and staff who support University and any other damaged schools?”

Here We Go Again

In spite of its solid educational record over decades, this is the second time University Elementary has thus been set-up for a fall by the CPSB and staff.  Should voters pass this plan, the attendance zones of (more…)

March 29, 2015 11:31 am

CPSB: Focus on Performance Indicators, Not Smoke

Independent!

Independence-Integrity-Results

by Marion Marks

We seem to sit around far too much complaining about the performance of public officials who fail to live up to our expectations. This is especially true when we often work hard to get them into office. So, when I came across new meaning for a metric that was important to me in social media for gauging the effectiveness, my mind raced to the linkage of performance measurement for those in public office. After all, it is so very similar.

Most public officials find the assessment of their effectiveness to be a factor of their public posturing or public relations. Inflatable ChickenIt’s generally the same with national officials who make the “baby-kissing circuit” or the rubber chicken lunch tour.

I would like to see far fewer public statements about successes and far more demonstrations of success. If the metric is managing a system, how smoothly do those who are regular users of the (more…)

March 23, 2015 9:32 am

The Times Opposes CPSB Tax Plan

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

(This is one in a continuing series of articles concerning the Caddo Parish School Board property tax millage proposition set for a May 2, 2015 election.  If approved by voters, CPSB nets another $108,000,000 for new schools and other buildings.)

In its lead editorial today, The Times opposes the Caddo Parish School Board’s tax plan soon headed to Caddo voters.  The editorial well hits many of the plan’s weaknesses. Here is the editorial.

Make Trouble-It's Your JobFor those of us who have been working, some of us almost full-time, to defeat this proposal, the newspaper’s reasoning for its opposition is important.  Those details include this notably clear statement:

“For example … we don’t see the current student population in southeast Shreveport justifying building a completely new school there.”

Hand over the keyThe CPSB plan is perhaps most deficient, and most tied to, its failing record on school closures.  Not only does the present plan offer a mere promise for school (more…)

March 22, 2015 10:20 am

Caddo School Frustration That Must Be Fixed

Educational Requirementsby Marion Marks

The LA Department of Education requires student have 63,720 minutes of teacher class contact time to meet school credit requirements.* In the 2014-15 Caddo high school calendar, and the one approved for next year (2015-16) there were NO extra day(s) built in for potential weather related closing. Both school calendars start the first day of class short one(1) day even before the calculation of lost weather days, when schools are closed! Caddo already lost four(4) days this year due to weather.

HighSchool-required classesA typical calendar day is calculated based on 360 minutes of classroom contact per day for classes. This normally computes to 177 days for students. To be prudent, schools normally build an extra day into the schedule, making 178 calendar days to allow for one inclement day. Usually in Louisiana that is enough. The one thing schools never want to do is (more…)

March 20, 2015 5:34 pm

CPSB Superintendent Goree’s Dog and Pony Bond Package Show is a Slick Production

Opinion by John SettleCaddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree and key staff members have scheduled 10 “Reinvest in Caddo” Community meetings—6 have been conducted as of today. The meetings are scattered throughout the parish; they have been held at Blanchard Elementary, Queensborough Elementary, Captain Shreve High, Southwood High, Walnut Hill Elementary/Middle, and Atkins Elementary. The remaining schedule includes Booker T. Washington, C.E. Byrd, Green Oaks, and Oak Park Elementary/ Middle School.

Gorree's-dogponyshowThe meetings have been a work in progress; initially live questions were invited from the audiences. For reasons that Dr. Goree and school board attorney Reg Abrams will NOT specify, the meetings now do NOT allow live questions. Attendees are invited to list questions on index cards and then check the CPSB website for (more…)

March 20, 2015 2:00 am

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