The executive director of the Orleans Parish School Board’s disadvantaged business program pleaded guilty in 2000 to a count of misdemeanor theft, a lesser charge than the five felony counts of insurance fraud he was charged with initially. Armer Bright, 48, didn’t disclose his criminal record when he applied for the director position, school board officials said Thursday following a committee meeting.
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.