The Broadmoor Neighborhood Association voted Tuesday to support two Caddo Parish School Board tax renewals and oppose a third. The three propositions will be considered by Caddo voters Saturday, April 30, with early voting in progress.
Meeting Tuesday at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church, BNA members voted to support Propositions 1 and 3 and oppose Proposition 2.
Proposition 1 would collect an estimated $31,647,000 per year for 10 years to fund “operation, maintenance and additional support” of Caddo public schools. Proposition 3 would raise an estimated $20,831,000 a year for 10 years to provide “additional support,” including “acquisition, replacement and maintenance of microcomputers, buses, air conditioners, and other equipment,” and for operation and maintenance.
Proposition 2, which BNA members rejected, would raise an estimated $12,697,000 a year for 10 years. It is for the purpose of “acquiring sites for and the construction and improvement of public school buildings and other public school facilities.”
BNA President Bonita Crawford said she hesitated to oppose a Caddo school tax, but she said Proposition 2 would allow Caddo Schools to build additional schools despite declining enrollment and the system maintaining 24 vacant campuses and properties.
In recent months BNA has urged the School Board to retain professional guidance in disposing of its empty properties. The association in particular is concerned about the fate of Arthur Circle Elementary School, a 67-year-old campus on 12 acres in the middle of Broadmoor that closed in 2020.
BNA wrote and called School Board members earlier this year to urge the system to hire land-use consultants to guide the board, but the School Board largely ignored the request. BNA Vice President Bill Robertson, who serves on the Shreveport Metropolitan Planning Commission, persuaded MPC staff to offer their services to the board, and that collaboration is just getting started.
“It makes no sense to me to build additional schools when your enrollment is declining and you have 24 vacant properties,” Robertson told BNA members.
Christine Tharpe, District 8 School Board member and Broadmoor resident, said the board has no intention to build new schools. She said the language of Proposition 2 referencing acquisition of sites and construction of school buildings was mandated by State law because the issue is a tax renewal.