by Marion Marks
Sadly, 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 programs during the summer that may be contrary to the wishes of citizens.
Residents of District Eleven must search quickly to find candidates who might help improve their district as well as the whole parish system. Voters sent a message at the last bond election, yet the administration and board appear to want to go ahead with changes even without bond monies being made available. It appears that the decision of voters will not sway the course of the CPSB.
Construction, renovations and school closures planned and forecast based on passing the bond measure appear to be going forward. The new Oak Park Attendance Zone was rolled out and other changes warrant closer scrutiny. Success in garnering community support thru the Community Foundation Women’s Philanthropy Network grant shows the district making progress, but a master plan that has community support needs all working board members.
Greater transparency and explanations by the administration must be forthcoming. The rush to fill a board vacancy should slow enough to allow viable candidates to examine or form exploratory committees to see what change options exist. Voters, parents, staff members and students should be involved in the process rather than the few who seem to empower themselves as the all-knowing and all-powerful.