Natchitoches Parish School Board Superintendent Dale Skinner received a letter of intent from local voters league stating their opposition to the upcoming millage tax that’s being proposed by the NPSB for the April 28 election.
However, Skinner said that no one from the voters league has come to his office throughout this school year to talk to him. The letter (SEE BELOW) voiced the group’s concern over the “D” and “F” schools, to which Skinner said the grade banding they’ll be implementing next school year is the only way things will change the district’s situation.
“You are voting to hurt kids,” he said at the School Board meeting April 12. “You’re voting against students, not against Dale Skinner”
The April 28 election consists of one proposition to fund $19.7 million in 20-year General Obligation Bonds for the purpose of making the outlined District 9 school improvements (SEE BELOW). The estimated funding required in the first year for this proposal is a levy of 8.0 mills.
District 9 has a track record of growth in assessed property value. Why is this important? If District 9 assessed property values continue to increase in future years, millage will decrease in like proportion.
The proposition on the ballot focuses on renovations and new construction to positively position all District 9 schools for the future.
Major mechanical, electrical and communication systems are at least 20 years old at schools and need major upgrades
Restrooms at all schools are in need of major refurbishing
Security fencing and camera systems at each campus should be updated
Outdoor activity spaces at most campuses are in need of repair or replacement
The cost of campus and building repairs exceeds normal maintenance funding
Natchitoches Jr. High has inadequate restrooms, gymnasium bleachers in need of replacement, a worn out parking lot and track, and no restroom or concessions facility for the public at the football field
Natchitoches Central High School is overcrowded and in need of additional classroom space
NCHS has completely outgrown the old field house and has no grandstand and restroom/concessions facility for the public at the football field
The strategy for the District 9 Improvements Program is to address real needs at each campus in a responsible manner to enhance the learning environment for over 4,300 students. Critical long-term improvements are listed for each school with an emphasis on the following:
Priority repairs and upgrades
Security and savings in maintenance costs
Enhancement and expansion of facilities and programs at the Jr. High and High School.
“If this doesn’t pass we’ll have to take the money we need for other things to keep the schools open and running,” said Skinner.
Early voting is April 14-21 (except Sunday, April 15) from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot is April 24 by 4:30 p.m. Voters can request an absentee by mail ballot online through our Voter Portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office (other than military and overseas voters). The deadline for a registrar of voters to receive a voted mail ballot is April 27 by 4:30 p.m. (other than military and overseas voters).
EARLY VOTING STARTS TODAY AT THE COURTHOUSE