Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Black families are the losers in NOLA’s nearly uncontested school board elections

Black families are the losers in NOLA’s nearly uncontested school board elections:

Black families are the losers in NOLA’s nearly uncontested school board elections

The stakes are high. So why is involvement so low?



 Democracy is more vibrant when participation is as wide as possible. It’s true on the national stage and it’s true in the New Orleans education arena.

One would think that NOLA’s passion for education — the lawsuits, the big-money elections, the heated meetings and writings —would predict hot contests in the local school board election with thousands eligible in each district.
But that’s not what has happened here in the Crescent City.
Join the conversation later on Andre Perry’s radio show, “Free College,” hosted Tuesdays on WBOK1230 in New Orleans at 3pm Central/4pm Eastern 504.260.9265.
Four of the seven district seats were decided before the November elections with little to no opposition. One of those was declared early due to a disqualification – the most tenured board member couldn’t prove she lived in the district.
There’s a lot at stake in local school board elections. In recent years, state and local districts across the country have played a real life game of capture the flag in which pro- and anti-reform factions typify the teams.
It’s to be determined if the new make up of the New Orleans School Board connotes a winner, but one thing is for sure: everyone loses when elections are not contested.
School board elections at the state and local levels have always been incredibly important on setting the direction of schools. This is whyBaton Rouge businessman Lane Grigsby‘s Empower Louisiana political action committee has been able to raise more than $2 million in 2015 from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Laura and John Arnold, Alice and Jim Walton of the Wal-Mart Waltons and Eli Broad. It’s the reason why American Federation of Teachers invested $450,000 into Jefferson Parish School Board election in 2014.
An aside – let’s end the arguments from both sides of that inordinate amounts of money favorsBlack families are the losers in NOLA’s nearly uncontested school board elections:

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