Shreveport charter school debate continues despite suit, delays
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
Opposing sides in a lawsuit say that efforts to keep on track the construction of a charter school for its planned opening this fall will continue.
Public debate about the Magnolia School of Excellence, a proposed charter school being built on River Parkway Boulevard near Stoner Avenue in Shreveport, will continue even though the Shreveport City Council set aside the issue on Tuesday for future debate.
As the two sides argue before the council about whether the school is being built upon a right of way that leads to the parkway, the developer of land surrounding the school defends his companies' lawsuit to halt school construction until a legal detail can be resolved in a Caddo court.
Linc Coleman, President of U.L. Coleman, developer of Coates Bluff Wright Island, where the school is to be built, says the city illegally allows construction on a development right of way.
"This is not about opposition to charter schools. It's about amending it so that it's a complementary method that works for everybody," Coleman says.
On the other side of the suit is the Shreveport Charter Foundation, which says that it intends to fight to keep the school opening on schedule this fall despite the suit.
"We have no reason to stop building. We have a committment to the thousand applicants to our school, and to all the children at the school and to the new educational model that the school hopes to present," says Dr. Phillip Rozeman of the Shreveport Charter Foundation, which is overseeing the construction of the school.
Rozeman says that the school is not being built upon the easement, or a right-of-way that legally allows passage from one point to another upon another person's property.
Rozeman also argues that the traffic along roads being constructed in the area would flow more smoothly if the school's easement plans were allowed.
"We believe we're doing the right thing for the community, the right thing for the neighborhood. We are being good neighbors."