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 closings – promises long and unfaithfully made by CPSB – it does so only after proposing the building of three new schools, most notably the $24,500,000 southeast Shreveport school. (SEE article with details here.) 

How-to-Save-on-MoneyVery importantly, the school board is expected to soon bring us a special property tax millage renewal for facility “renovations.”  There is, of course, no mention of that fact – that money – in this tax campaign.  That bottom-of-the-deck detail alone discredits both this plan, and those who bring it to us.

As I explained to them when I was invited to meet with The Times editorial board almost three weeks ago, the school board and administration have rarely, if ever, delivered a worse plan to score another huge money haul from Caddo Parish taxpayers. 

In 1984, I have specific reason to remember, we were spending about $2,600 per year, per CPSB pupil, or $5,900 in today’s inflation-adjusted dollars.  We now pay $12,000 per pupil, per year.  We should have long ago learned that throwing money at this problem is, as classically defined, insane.

I, for one, will never again support a CPSB plan:

time_is_money_hour_glass(a) hatched mainly in secret, attached “eyewash” citizen committees notwithstanding,

(b) dedicated to spending taxpayer money for any unidentified interest, whether a for-profit real estate developer, a teacher union, or any other such group, or

(c) disrespectful of the people who pay its huge – nearly a half-billon-dollars a year – financial tab.

The Times editorial today will matter in the growing opposition to this awful plan.  It will make it more politically and socially unacceptable, as such things work here, for other community groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and Committee of 100 to wade-in to pass it.

All help in opposition to this plan is appreciated.

I thank The Times.

Elliott Stonecipher

(Elliott Stonecipher is in no way affiliated with any political party.  He has no client or other relationships which in any way influence his selections of subjects or the content of any article.  His work is strictly in the public interest, with no compensation of any kind solicited or accepted.  Appropriate credit to Mr. Stonecipher in the sharing – unedited only, please – of his work is appreciated.)