Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Percy Marchand's comments on the School Facilities Master Plan

(from the updated comments on Christian Roselund's Master Plan meeting account of 9-20):

I also want to note School Board District 6 Candidate Percy Marchand’s critique of the School Facilities Master Plan, which was published 9-23-08 on Vincent Sylvain’s New Orleans Agenda:

Facilities Master Plan Concerns:

1. Inefficiency and Ineffectiveness: This facilities master plan has been created without a comprehensive “system” master plan even being discussed.

2. Questionable Statistics: Projected high school student populations lower than the current high school student population (the plan’s goal is to create first-rate 21st century public schools. If this is the case, student populations should increase not decrease.)

3. Fewer High School Choices: Based on the aforementioned projections, the plan calls for decreasing the number of high schools from 28 to 17. The entire uptown area would only have one high school (McMain would be moved to Central City (Booker T. Washington site); Priestley and Cohn would be sold or re-purposed; and Lusher (selective enrollment) would be the only high school.

4. Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance: The multi-billion dollar plan only calls for “limited” ADA compliance upgrades totaling only $1,000,000 in upgrades citywide.

5. Funding for Phases II and III: While funding is in place for Phase I which involves a considerable amount of demolition and selling of land and buildings (including several operating schools), there is nothing securing funding for Phases II and III in which new schools come online.

6. A Losing Deal: The plan calls for the selling of up to 52 schools. Do to current market conditions, real estate developers would love the deals they receive, but those deals would come at the cheat our students and public school system. The plan also suggest that the remaining properties and buildings currently owned by the school board be given to a separate “private”, “public”, “non-profit”, or hybrid board which would lease the properties back to the school board.

for more information see Percy Marchand’s website at vote4marchand.org

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