Controversy surrounds Caddo School Board tax renewals - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Controversy surrounds Caddo School Board tax renewals

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Bossier, Caddo and Red River parishes all have school board tax renewals. But it's Caddo's renewals that are creating some controversy with three organizations opposing it. Opposition from the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Committee of 100, Manufacturing Council, and Alliance for Education to three school tax renewals is stirring up controversy.

"There are a lot of people out there, maybe not a lot, it may just be one or two voices crying in the wilderness, to say we ought not have the money," said Caddo Parish School Board Member Carl Pierson.

The vote is a no-brainer for Pierson. If passed, it will continue to provide 55 million dollars to fund salaries, building maintenance and equipment. "They are just renewals, there are no new taxes, no new money," said Pierson. Not everyone agrees it should be passed again. "We are not against necessarily funding the school system, we're saying that, just giving them more revenue isn't going to solve their problem," said Scott Hughes is the Executive Director of non-profit group Alliance for Education. He says the districts future is too uncertain to ask voters for money.

"Let's wait on discovering who your superintendent is, we want to see a plan from the board, and we want to see what the state's going to do in terms of the takeover of the schools and then we can look over 10 years of revenue," said Hughes.

Pierson doesn't see the point in waiting, "Why delay it? When you schedule maintenance, you have to schedule those two or three years ahead". But continuing to run the current system is what Hughes says is the problem, adding that with fewer students and too many buildings, the board needs to consolidate to save money.

Ultimately the voters will decide at the polls on Saturday. If voters vote yes at the polls, the renewals will last for 10 years. If they aren't passed through, the board says they will try again in November.

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