Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS – As candidates sign up to run for Orleans Parish School Board this week, a coalition of nearly 20 business and community groups is putting forth a challenge.
The Forward New Orleans for Public Schools group is asking candidates to commit to a platform of issues dealing with the school board.
At a press conference Wednesday, organizers said that the school board is a vital part of the educational process, especially with questions about how many schools will soon return to local control.
Organizers said since the school board oversees finances for all schools in the parish – whether charter, OPSB or Recovery School District properties – their management is important.
The group has a platform of seven items that it will ask candidates to commit to during this election season:
- Promote High-Quality, High-Performing Schools
- Provide Coordination to Enable Choice
- Engage in System-Wide Strategic Planning Process
- ReResource Management for Facilities
- Resource Manager for Taxes and Bonds
- Resource Manager for the Fund Balance Reserve
- An Abiding Promise of Fairness and Equity for All Public Schools and Students
“It’s not about governance. It’s not about those things that are outside of the conversation for OPSB right now,” said Nolan Rollins, president of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, one of the Forward New Orleans group members.
“It’s about the children and making sure that our children have quality schools, that there is policy put into place that makes sense for all of them, not just a segment of the population,” he said.
The Forward New Orleans group plans to seek signatures on its platform for all of the Orleans Parish school board candidates and report their results. The coalition coordinated similar efforts for the 2012 mayor’s race and recent city council elections.