AMITE—BLACK LEADERS SAID they are highly critical of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board and the large amount of wasted taxpayer money going into the par- ish schools.
Community leader and elected official Iram Gordon of Kentwood expressed her feelings in a recent boardmeeting regarding the lack of support for the schools in Kentwood.
Former Kentwood High principal Ann Smith, who represents the area as a board member, disagreed with Gordon. Smith garnered the support of school board member Brett Duncan, who stated that she led efforts to have a new $15 million O.W Dillion Elementary School Built and allotted for millions of dollars in renovations for kentwood high.
Pat Morris, who is president of theGreater Tangipahoa Parish Branch NAACP, fielded questions to the Tangipahoa Parish School Board on the state of its schools. She said that individuals who question what’s happening with the schools have listed many times when their calls to the administration have gone unanswered and unreturned.
“We are going to bring heavy, heavy pressure on our superintendent, assistant superintendent and chief academic of- ficer,” Morris said. “We renew our cam- paigner for a trained educator as super- intendent. We emphasize it is not a race thing – it is about quality education.
Our current superintendent cannot provide leadership as an educator – he is not one – this should now be obvious. His leadership is putting the parish deeper in the hole in the desegregation case and the failure of schools to meet state standards cannot be ignored.”
Neighboring parish St. Tammany has “A” rated schools; while Tangipahoa Par- ish is saturated with “D” and “F” rated schools.
The Recovery School District is close
in proximity and is taking over schools and turning them over to private charter school corporations from outside the state, removing control from the local school board and from local parents. RSD is not only giving the schools to these out of state private corporations, it is also giving these private corporations control of the prop- erty paid for with local tax dollars.
The Greater Tangipahoa NAACP chapter said it feels that the statements presented are legitimate concerns that de- serve response.
“This is not about personal agendas, nor vendettas,” Morris continued. “It is about the future of every child in this school system. We can do better. We must do better.”