Early voting underway for May 4 election
Early voting is underway in Caddo Parish for the May 4 ballot measure put forth by Caddo Parish School Board.
The measure allows voters to the opportunity to consider allowing Caddo to use a portion of an existing millage to fund approximately $88.3 million in critical needs.
These critical needs include:
* Heating and air conditioning upgrades throughout the district
* Updated buses to address aging fleet
* Increased security measures at district campuses
The ballot language written below was approved by the Louisiana Bond Commission in accordance with state and federal requirements for language which must be included on a school district ballot in order to allow for the sale of bonds. This same language has been a part of each Caddo Schools bond proposal for more than 20 years.
"Shall the Parishwide School District of Caddo Parish, Louisiana (the "District"), incur debt and issue bonds not exceeding $88,300,000, to run not exceeding 20 years from date thereof, with interest at a rate not exceeding 8% per annum, for the purpose of acquiring and/or improving lands for building sites and playgrounds; including construction of necessary sidewalks and streets adjacent thereto; purchasing, erecting and/or improving school buildings and other school related facilities within and for the District, and acquiring the necessary equipment and furnishings therefor, including, to the extent feasible, those specific school projects set forth in the "Capital Improvement Plan" approved by the School Board on January 15, 2019, title to which shall be in the public; which bonds will be general obligations of the District and will be payable from ad valorem taxes to be levied and collected in the manner provided by Article VI, Section 33 of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1974 and statutory authority supplemental thereto, with no estimated increase in the millage rate to be levied in the first year of issue above the 5 mills currently being levied to pay General Obligation Bonds of the District?"
The ballot language, which is standard and used by all school districts in Louisiana, does state information regarding school district's ability to buy land or build sites and playgrounds. However, there is no intent or plan by the Caddo Parish School Board to take such actions. Instead, the Board will only use the funds requested of voters for purposes outlined in the Capital Improvement Plan approved on January 15, 2019 referenced in the ballot measure. That plan includes only heating and air conditioning of schools, purchasing of new school buses and implementation of nationally recognized security measures.