Qualifying begins today for candidates seeking seats on the Orleans Parish School Board. At issue are basic questions of governance including whether schools that now answer to the state’s Recovery School District will be returned to local control, making this one of the more pivotal elections in recent memory.
Archived videos of Orleans Parish School Board meetings will be available on the board’s website, members decided at their Tuesday night meeting, but not without spirited debate. An amended disadvantaged-business policy was also approved, and the board agreed to the deletion of 21 positions from the payroll.
The Orleans Parish School Board is planning to cut 21 positions for the coming school year, officials announced Thursday. The cuts, which will include teachers, social workers, clerical assistants, and other positions, are largely due to nearly $2 million in federal funding reductions, namely from Title I and special-education reimbursements.
In what was likely the most tumultuous Orleans Parish School Board meeting held since the board’s contentious pre-Hurricane Katrina days, members Tuesday night stopped arguing among themselves and with some audience members long enough to raise the city’s property tax modestly and appoint its interim and deputy superintendents. Undoubtedly, a major source of the turmoil was the unwavering antics of longtime gadfly Sandra Wheeler Hester, who was a key antagonist of the School Board pre-Katrina, and who has begun attending monthly meetings again.