The continuing plunge of the Caddo Parish School District towards financial – whittling a $40 million reserve to $5 million in just three years that only stayed static under the current budget – and academic – nearly half of its schools are rated as failing or threaten to become so soon – disasters, has created talk of dissident geographies seceding to form their own districts. But if the procedures to do that aren’t daunting enough, the politics and history and practical matters are such to make this possibility the longest of shots to hit home.
While there was talk this past legislative session of trying this, it remained only that. It turned to action regarding a similar effort in Baton Rouge. But even though a law was passed to create a new district there, two bills to send constitutional amendments to the state's voters to allow for this died that would have permitted the breakaway district in East Baton Rouge Parish now and one or more in Shreveport later died precisely because of this inertia.
And that inertia only will grow. With a report out now on the financial aspects of a breakup of East Baton Rouge, the authors noted that initial cost estimates were too low as "legacy costs" of things like retirement pay were predicted to escalate. The same dynamic likely would work in Caddo as well, dampening enthusiasm of legislators to carve up districts.