State Support of Private Schools: the Sneaky Way

Much has been written about the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program, otherwise known as the Louisiana Scholarship Program, or the voucher program.  To summarize:  The Department of Education allows vouchers for almost any private school that wants them (or so it seems) and then performs minimal oversight.  The students are tested, but the Department works hard to make sure taxpayers don’t get to see any useful data.  The program is based on a premise that it helps poor kids access private schools.  But “poor” is 2.5 times the poverty level which, for a family of four, means an annual income of $59,625 is low enough to put a kid in a private school at taxpayer expense.  And, of course, the state refuses to release any data about how many children are at which ends of that range of income.  And the point is, allegedly, to allow kids to escape failing public schools.  Never mind that the students may have never attended a public school.  Ever.

But this post isn’t about THAT voucher program.  It’s about the sneaky alternative that funds private schools by way of tax rebates.  The Tuition Donation Rebate Program allows donors to fund private school tuition and recoup most of that donation as a tax rebate.  As might be expected, there are middlemen taking their cut of the money.  At the beginning of the program, there was only one such organization — Arete Scholars Louisiana.  The registered agent, Gene Mills, has apparently neglected the paperwork required to keep charter 41200779N active with the Louisiana Secretary of State.  Superintendent John White’s Department of Education, with the approval of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), thought it was critical that there be multiple organizations available to help people support private education rather than pay taxes.  So they gave grants of up to $499,750 to ACE Scholarships Louisiana (charter 41590796K) and up to $500,000 for New Schools for Baton Rouge Excellence Scholarship Fund (charter 41726088K) so that these limited-liability corporations could each set up their business of accepting donations, funneling them to private schools, and providing the documentation required for the donors to get tax rebates from the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

According to the Louisiana Nonpublic School Choice 2015 Annual Report, which was submitted to BESE but not accepted, the tuition donation rebate program started in 2013-14 with Arete.  Arete’s 2013-14 Arete’s 2014 Annual Report indicates that the organization disbursed 14 scholarships, worth a total of $60,975.02, and all funded by the Atlanta Falcons.  No, that’s not a typo.  THOSE Atlanta Falcons.  That amount was confirmed by the Louisiana Department of Revenue:  One unnamed taxpayer was issued a rebate in the amount of $60,975.02 in tax year 2014.

According to the state’s 2015 annual report cited above, there were two Student Tuition Organizations active in 2014-15:  Arete and ACE.  Arete’s 2015 Annual Report confirms the number of scholarships reported by the state, 50, at 24 schools, with a total value of $180,381, while ACE Scholarships Louisiana LLC’s 2015 Annual Report reports 13 scholarships, three schools, and a total of $40,780.67.  The donors of note on Arete’s annual report include the Atlanta Falcons, Chik-fil-A, James Garvey and several other individuals.  ACE’s donors were David George and Edward Rispone.  According to the Louisiana Department of Revenue, the total of rebates awarded in 2015 was $101,659.85, and they ranged in size from $950 to $47,105.

The numbers exploded in 2015-16, though, especially for ACE.  The state’s voucher report indicates that Arete awarded (as of March 2016) 205 scholarships at 50 schools, ACE awarded 558 scholarships at 77 schools, and New Schools awarded 13 scholarships at four schools.  The names of the schools, donors and dollar amounts likely won’t be available for several months, however.

The targets for total scholarship awards (remember those half-million dollar contracts a few paragraphs above) were 1000 for this year and 1250 for 2016-17 (ACE) and 75 and 125, respectively for New Schools.  So apparently New Schools aimed low and shot lower.  Perhaps that’s a good thing, in that taxpayers will see less revenue diverted away from the state’s coffers.  On the other hand, this spreadsheet indicates that, as of the end of 2015, New Schools had already collected $300,000 on its contract, and ACE had already collected $249,874.98.

It’s interesting what a person can learn from availing themselves of their rights under Louisiana’s public records law (Title 44).

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The False Premise of Voucher Hype

“Vouchers are state aid for low-income students that allow them to leave public schools rated C, D or F and attend a private school,” reported Will Sentell in The Advocate (March 14, 2016).  Or so we’re supposed to believe.  If vouchers provided by the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program (Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:4011-4025 are indeed used to help poor kids escape schools with C, D and F grades, it would seem reasonable to believe that there should be some observable correlation between the District Performance Score (DPS) for a school system and the use of the voucher system.  In other words, a district with many C, D and F schools would probably have a lower DPS than a district with a relatively small fraction of schools rated C, D or F.  And if the voucher program worked as hyped, the low-rated district should have a relatively high ratio of voucher students to traditional public school students, following the reasoning that in low-rated districts there is more reason to “escape” the public schools for the hypothetically superior education provided by the nonpublic schools.  And districts with high DPS values should have low utilization of the voucher program.  No such luck:


Notice the outlier:  the blue box in the upper-right-hand corner.  That’s Orleans Parish, the original home to the voucher program and home district to 2742 voucher recipients in the first quarter of 2015-16.  Only 12815 attended Orleans Parish School Board-controlled schools (using February, 2015, data).  But it’s an A-rated district, at least according to the Louisiana Department of Education.  So apparently all 2742 students at some point were assigned to a C, D or F school, and then chose vouchers instead, even though the New Orleans miracle has supposedly provided a city chock-full of wonderfully innovative charter schools from which the students can choose.

It’s worth noting that Revised Statute 17:4013 defines an “eligible student” as one who “is entering kindergarten and has enrolled in the local school system in which the public school he would have otherwise attended is located or in a school under the jurisdiction of the Recovery School District.  Each local school system or the Recovery School District shall conduct its annual kindergarten enrollment process and shall report such enrollment to the department prior to the program enrollment process.”  Does anyone believe that really happens?

Also, the public-school enrollment of 12,815 is somewhat deceptive, since many thousand students attend schools operated by the so-called Recovery School District.  So let’s delete Orleans Parish and see if the graph looks better.  But first note the slope of the trend line, suggesting (but with zero statistical significance) that a higher DPS drives more students to vouchers.


So now the trend line is at least going in the expected direction, but with an R-squared value of less than 4%, it’s pretty meaningless.  So what about the two outliers that have become more noticeable in the absence of Orleans?  The one on the left is Franklin Parish, a C-rated district (DPS = 79.5) with a public school enrollment of 2827 and a voucher enrollment of 172, most of whom presumably comprise the bulk of the student body at Family Community Christian School in Winnsboro.  The one on the right is St. John the Baptist (B, 85.2, 5717 public, 347 vouchers).  Maybe throwing those two districts out of the analysis will provide us some statistical significance.


Nope.  Eight percent is a rather underwhelming R-squared value.  So perhaps we should eliminate the 21 districts that have zero voucher participation and the 15 that have between one and nine participants.  With Orleans, Franklin and St. John the Baptist already gone, that leaves only 30 of Louisiana’s 69 districts in the graph below.


R-squared has climbed all the up to 11%.  Wow.  Compare that to R-squared of 60% when comparing at-risk population to DPS.  So how about looking at the D schools?  (There are no F schools among the 69 parish and city school districts; the only F “district” is the non-Orleans portion of the Recovery School District.  Fortunately students escaping the Recovery School District in Baton Rouge have several options within the East Baton Rouge Parish School System to which they could escape.)

There are nine districts with 2015 District Performance Scores that are in the D range:

District DPS Vouchers Traditional
East Carroll Parish 69.5 0 1033
Richland Parish 64.9 19 3122
Tensas Parish 62.0 0 631
City of Bogalusa 61.6 29 1631
Avoyelles Parish 61.5 10 5526
Morehouse Parish 60.4 14 4302
Union Parish 59.9 66 2166
St. Helena Parish 54.9 <10 1064
Madison Parish 52.5 <10 1357

East Carroll and Tensas Parishes have no voucher students.  St. Helena and Madison have between one and nine each.  The nine districts thus have a total of between 140 and 156 voucher students, and 20,832 in traditional schools (ignoring state-chartered schools for this analysis).  That puts the voucher:traditional ratio between 1:133 and 1:149, whereas statewide it’s closer to 1:90.  So students in parishes that the state says are failing (since D is apparently a failing grade in the world of John White) are less likely to “escape” to private schools than students elsewhere.  So let’s quit pretending that the voucher program is anything but a subsidy for a separate an unequal education system that distracts us from working to improve the public system in order to make it the best it can be.

Just don’t tell John White.  He’d probably give the Robertson family half a million dollars (to go with the corporate welfare by which we as taxpayers underwrite their television program) to create a Duck Dynasty Denominational School of Mediocrity in northeast Louisiana to help kill public education in that part of the state.  Sounds ridiculous?  Wait until you hear what the Department of Education already spends money on . . . .  For people wanting to do their own analyses, this file contains the Department of Education’s response to a series of public record requests.



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Why School Performance Scores Are Useless

A couple of hours ago I saw a Facebook thread where someone posted some impressive graphics that made it appear that the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) performs poorly when compared to Zachary and Central.  When I pointed out that School and District Performance Scores were essentially a measure of school poverty, he demanded that I show him the data.  So I did, a couple minutes after he signed off for the night.

Rather than waste the fifteen minutes I spent making this graph on the bottom of a thread that will quickly fade from view, I thought it might be appropriate to put it here, so I could reference it whenever I have that same discussion with someone who is under the impression that EBRPSS schools don’t compare well with other districts in the state.  The graph below is no great revelation; other people have been creating and sharing similar graphs for years.

DPS versus At-Risk

I collected from the Louisiana Department of Education web site the District Performance Scores for District Performance Scores for 2015 and the February 1, 2015, district-level MFP membership data.  I graphed the at-risk percent on the x axis and the District Performance Score on the y axis, and then used my spreadsheet to find the best linear fit.

R-squared for this regression is above 60 percent.  I think most reasonable people would agree, looking at the data points above, that low percentages of at-risk students tend to be associated with high District Performance Scores, and high percentages of at-risk students correlate with lower District Performance Scores.

The District Performance Scores are a hodgepodge of poorly-constructed component metrics.  They don’t take into account, in any stable or meaningful way, the amount that a student’s performance improves in a year.  So a school that brings someone from four years below grade level to fully proficient in one year gets a lower rating than a school that accepts a high-achieving kid who simply coasts and maintains his percentile ranking.  Unfortunately, that’s the quality of data supplied by state Superintendent of Schools John White and his staff.

Back to the Facebook argument — the one regarding the relative quality of the four school districts within East Baton Rouge Parish:  Zachary (red square) is above the trend line, but so is EBRPSS (green square).  Central (violet square) is just barely above the trend line, and Baker (orange square) is slightly below the line.  But compared to the difference explained by the at-risk percentage?  Those distinctions are minor.  Perhaps it would make more sense for us to work together to raise educational for opportunity for all students in the state (rich, poor, gifted, disabled, male, female, black, white, tall, short, . . .) rather than engaging in the reformers’ game of destructive competition.

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How Louisiana funds the Catholic Church, and other quirks of the voucher system

Did the headline, “How Louisiana funds the Catholic Church” get your attention?  If so, that’s good.  When I saw the details of voucher funding for 2014-15, I was startled at how much of the roughly $40 million in spending went to Catholic schools.

The total amount sent to the 131 voucher schools participating in the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence program in 2014-15 was $39,486,798.20.  This figure is reported in a spreadsheet I received from the Department of Education in response to a public record request.  Of that, approximately 2/3 ($26,819,434.44) went to the 76 participating schools that are affiliated with the New Orleans Archdiocese and the Dioceses of Shreveport, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Houma-Thibodaux, Lafayette, and Lake Charles.

A defender of the voucher program might suggest that most of the private schools in the state are Catholic, so it makes sense that most of the vouchers would be used in Catholic schools.  The evidence says otherwise.  There are 412 nonpublic schools listed in the state’s 2015-16 School Directory (which I received incidental to another public record request).  Of those, only 190 are identified by the state as being Catholic.  So the Catholic schools are fewer than half the nonpublic schools, but they account for 2/3 of the vouchers.  There is no easy way to compare total enrollment (Catholic vs. non-Catholic private schools) since the state does not appear to collect or report private-school enrollment data.

As mentioned earlier, 76 of the 131 voucher schools are Catholic.  Of the remaining 55, 25 have a school name containing the word “Christian” and 9 have a name containing “Lutheran”, “Living Word”, “Bishop”, “Baptist”, “Adventist” or “Bible”.  And there’s Jewish Community Day School.  So that leaves roughly 20 of the voucher schools that MIGHT be secular.  So much for the separation of Church and State.

It’s interesting to rank the voucher schools by total amount paid in 2014-15:  The top six schools account for more than $10 million, and the next 14 for more than another $10 million:

  • 506095      St. Mary’s Academy (Girls) (C)               Orleans           417     $2,606,159.92
  • 702001      Hosanna Christian Academy (AG)          EBR                 390    $2,265,944.09
  • 506048      Resurrection of Our Lord School (C)       Orleans         466     $2,103,286.25
  • 506044      Our Lady of Prompt Succor School (C)   Jefferson       208    $1,045,416,93
  • 502031      St. Louis King of France School (C)         EBR                 182     $1,021,093.75
  • 506087     St. Leo the Great School (C)                       Orleans          191     $1,016,667.50

Five of the most expensive voucher schools are Catholic, as shown above, and 17 of the top 20.  The non-Catholic schools among the top 20 are Hosanna Christian Academy (#2; see above), Evangel Christian Academy (#16; Caddo Parish) and Riverside Academy (#20; St. John Parish).

One of the voucher schools appears to be a public school — Park Vista Elementary School in Opelousas (St. Landry Parish).  It would be interesting to know the story on that school’s participation in the program, and where the students are coming from.  The state sent the Parish an average of somewhere around $7,760.46 for 19 students, contributing $150,000 to the local system’s bottom line.  Compare that to the $5,570 that the state sent to St. Landry Parish Schools in Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funding for each student that actually lived in St. Landry Parish.

Two of the schools that received vouchers are not even on the state’s list of nonpublic schools:  Walford School of New Orleans received $17,717.28, and McKinney-Byrd Academy (in Shreveport) received $3,566.25.  If they aren’t on the state’s list of nonpublic schools, why did they receive voucher payments?  In 2015-16, the SIHAF K12 Learning Academy joined the ranks of voucher schools not on the list of nonpublic schools, and in 2016-17, Weatherford Academy in Westwego will be allowed to offer up to six vouchers and Children’s College in Slidell will be allowed to offer one or two vouchers.  Go figure.

State Superintendent of Education John White would like us to believe that at an average of around $5,500 each the vouchers save the state a lot of money.  There’s a flaw in that argument.  The average state share of the MFP (per child) in 2014-15 was only $5,185.  So there might be a savings to local school districts, if those local districts had to educate fewer students with the same amount of local tax revenue.  Unfortunately, there’s a huge loophole in the voucher program that allows students who have never (and probably WOULD never) been enrolled in a public school to get their private educations funded by the state.  Maybe that’s why I can’t get a meaningful response to my request to the Department of Education in which I seek the records of how many voucher students had actually “escaped” public schools.

As an example of the fallacy of the vouchers-as-a-bargain-for-the-state argument, consider East Baton Rouge Parish Schools.  In 2014-15, the state share of MFP was $4165.  Of the 20 voucher schools within the district’s boundaries, the only school with an average voucher amount below $4165 was St. Francis Xavier School at $4,103.46.  At least five voucher schools charged the state over $8,000 per student.  For two schools, Most Blessed Sacrament and Country Day School of Baton Rouge, both the average tuition per student and the number of students each quarter were redacted from the records supplied by the state, so there’s no way to know how much each school charged the taxpayers per student.

The highest tuition rate ($9,000) was charged by Prevailing Faith Christian Academy in Ouachita Parish for its 31 voucher students.  It appears that the schools get to set the rate the state pays for an education over which the state exercises no oversight, as long as there are at least a few families willing to pay that amount out of their own pockets.  With no effective state oversight, there is no way to tell just how good (or more likely bad) a bargain the state is getting by funding private education.

Meanwhile only 91 schools are accepting applications for new voucher students in 2016-17, and Cristo Rey in Baton Rouge is apparently not yet among that group.  Perhaps many of the private schools have realized that mixing public money and private education is a bad idea all around.

F 17 of February 20 (voucher school status for 2016-17, and Q1 enrollment for 2015-16)

11 of February 20 – 2014-15 SEE Enrollment and Funding (2014-15 voucher spending)

2014-15-circular-no-1156a—final-budget-letter—march-2015  (Look at “Table 3 Levels 1&2” tab, in columns AP and AT.)

2015-16 School Directory

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Hey, School Board! Good ‘nuf Isn’t an Acceptable Standard!

On Thursday, January 16, 2013, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System’s board will have yet another opportunity to choose between accepting a half-baked, sloppy proposal offered by their well-paid staff, or rejecting it in favor of a better plan.  Actually, there will be three such opportunites, regarding Polk, Brookstown and Woodlawn/JeffersonTerrace/Westminster schools.

Polk Elementary

The proposal under consideration would convert Polk Elementary to a foreign-language immersion school (with a Spanish program and a Mandarin program), similar to the existing successful program at the School Formerly Known as South Boulevard Elementary (BR FLAIM, or Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet).

While it is possible that the proposal under consideration represents the best available option, there are many questions that apparently haven’t been answered but should (in my opinion) be answered before the board moves to approve this idea:

  • How many seats were available in each magnet program, and how many students applied for each during the recently-completed application period?
  • Where do the current magnet students at each school, and the potential magnet students applying for each program, reside?  Where are their parents employed?
  • Of students who applied but did not receive magnet seats in the past, how many stayed in the EBRPSS system and how many went elsewhere?
  • Is there space available elsewhere in the district where a magnet program could or should be placed?
  • Will there be an effort to make gifted services available in the areas where the students live, or will gifted students continue to be expected to travel outside their neighborhoods to receive the programs specified by their individual educational plans?
  • Does it make any sense to have gifted programs at both Buchanan and University Terrace Elementaries given their proximity to one another?
  • Would it make more sense to serve the known demand for more seats in Spanish (and possibly French) immersion before starting a new program with a different language?
  • What is the average cost of instruction at each school in the district?  Are tiny schools really substantially more expensive per capita than huge schools?
  • Do all immersion programs need to be located near each other (or eventually in one larger facility)?  If so, is that also true of other types of magnet programs?

There is an opportunity cost to choosing adoption of the current Polk proposal.  It takes money, time, space and other resources away from other competing ideas that might be better choices.


The board has been asked to consider designating the former Brookstown Elementary (currently occupied by the Career Academy charter high school) as a middle school to serve a mixture of neighborhood and magnet students.  The proposed attendance area is part of the attendance area associated with Prescott Middle School prior to the Recovery School District’s seizure of the Prescott campus.  As was the case with the Polk proposal, this plan has some merit.  Unfortunately, there are again many unanswered questions and options that don’t appear to have been fully considered.

  • Would Brookstown be better used as the site for the Children’s Charter School (currently housed in the former Nicholson Elementary building)?
  • Would Brookstown be better returned to its former purpose as a neighborhood elementary school, particularly to serve the many students within walking distance?
  • Would Brookstown be a good site for the magnet programming already proposed for Claiborne Elementary, thus minimizing the need to evict neighborhood students from Claiborne to make room for magnet students?
  • If Brookstown is to be a middle school, is it fair that a student living a block away (on the sourh side of Prescott Road) would still be expected to ride a bus to Southeast Middle School?
  • If Brookstown is to be a middle school, why not offer assignment there to anyone within the old Prescott attendance area?
  • How many magnet programs are appropriate district-wide for the middle school level?  Sherwood, Scotlandville and McKinley Middle Schools are entirely magnets; Westdale and Glasgow have significant magnet, gifted or talented components.
  • If there is a shortage of space at the middle school level, particularly in North Baton Rouge, how can one justify setting aside space for a magnet program?
  • When will the board insist on a strengthening of the baseline program at neighborhood schools to reduce the demand for magnet programs?
  • If a typical middle school has nearly a thousand students, why wouldn’t each one offer a wide range of classes including electives?
  • Does it make more sense to have all students interested in a particular class travel to the same school, or to have teachers travel from school to school, or to teach some classes using video links among district schools?
  • Does the board intend to let the Recovery School District operate Prescott Middle School as a kindergarten without challenge?
  • Does the board intend to let the Recovery School Distrcit use Glen Oaks Middle School and Istrouma High School as office space without challenge?

I’m not convinced that the proposed plan represents the highest and best use of the Brookstown facility.  Unless board members are convinced, they should vote “no” and ask the staff for a better idea. If the staff is unable to present a better idea, perhaps we need a better staff.

Woodlawn, Jefferson Terrace and Westminster

Because there is residential construction underway in Woodlawn Elementary’s attendance zone, there is a proposal under consideration to shrink the school’s attendance area. Some current students would be shifted to Jefferson Terrace for next year and beyond, making extra room available at Woodlawn for potential students that might move into the new homes. Unfortunately, there isn’t sufficient capacity at Jefferson Terrace to fit as many students as are proposed to be sent there, so other students would be bumped from Jefferson Terrace and sent to Westminster. Again, there are many questions that should be asked, and answered, before this idea gets seriously considered. After all, board member Jill Dyason has suggested “data-driven” decision making as a goal for the board.

  • Is Woodlawn Elementary currently above capacity at any grade level? (The answer was “no”, at least as of late December.)
  • Is Woodlawn even the school closest to not having room for its neighborhood kids?
  • Does it make sense, as an area undergoes significant growth, to keep shifting students bit by bit to schools outside the area? Might it make more sense to identify the appropriate location and start planning and building an additional school?
  • What criteria are used to determine whether new schools will be built, and where? There is new construction along the Bluebonnet Extension, but no plan to accomodate students who might come from those new homes (unless we call the charter school by the corner of Burbank the “plan”).
  • Is it good policy to move an actual student who has already chosen the public system to make room for a hypothetical student who MIGHT choose the public school system?
  • When (if ever) will the system decide to study all attendance zones to consider changes (both to attendance zones and program locations) that might lower costs and increase convenience for families in the district?.

Since these questions have not been answered, and almost certainly will not be satisfactorily answered during the discussion at Thursday’s meeting, the appropriate vote for board members on this agenda item would also be “no.” There should also be an explicit message sent to the Superintendent and his central administrative staff that it’s time to start providing the quality of work one would reasonably expect from a half-billion-dollar-a-year agency serving more than forty thousand students in a forward-thinking capital city with several institutions of higher education.

Maybe some better ideas could be proposed in time for the February cycle of committee and board meetings? We can hope so.

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Robert Reich: Are We a Decent Society?

Robert Reich: Are We a Decent Society?.

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The case of the vanishing agenda item

Apparently actions of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board continue to be suggestions that can be ignored, judging by a comparison of the preliminary minutes from the recent Committee of the Whole and the posted agenda for Thursday evening’s full board meeting.  The board sent an item to the full board (with neither a recommendation in favor or against) regarding construction at Polk and University Terrace Elementary Schools and the proposed move of the foreign language immersion program currently housed at South Boulevard Elementary.  Yet the board agenda contains no such item in the section following the consent agenda.

The minutes can be viewed at  The substitute motion made by Mr. Arbour and seconded by Ms. Dyason (which passed 8-1 with Ms. Bernard voting against and Mr. Tatman and Dr. Nelson-Smith absent) reads as follows:

“The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board Committee of the Whole does hereby send the following item to the full Board without a recommendation:  authorization for staff to advertise, accept the low bid meeting specifications and make the award of a contract for the Classroom Renovations and Additions at Polk Elementary School, and University Terrace Elementary School, or reject any and all bids for just cause in accordance with the Louisiana Public Bid Law; Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 38; Chapter 10.  The awarding of the contract will be conditioned upon the Board approving the transfer from Baton Rouge FLAIM to Polk Elementary School and from Polk Elementary School to University Terrace Elementary School.”  Yet there is no mention of this item on the agenda posted at

Never mind that I think any discussion of moving programs is premature without the administration providing far more background data than it is willing or able to provide.  Never mind that it’s stupid to consider additions to any buildings without considering space utilization systemwide.  Never mind that the shift of students from Polk to University Terrace would be more of a merger than a move.

If the board, acting as a Committe of the Whole, forwarded an item to the full Board, why in the (expletive deleted) isn’t the item on the (another expletive deleted) agenda?  This (yet another expletive deleted) is getting old.  Does the Superintendent think he has full veto power over board actions?  If this item doesn’t get discussed at the full Board meeting Thursday evening (November 21, 2013) the public should conclude that the Board has abandoned its position as the governing body for public education in the East Baton Rouge Parish School District.

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