Forward New Orleans
For Public Schools Platform

2020 Orleans Parish School Board Elections

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Early voting is Oct. 16-27 (excluding Sunday, Oct 18 and Sunday, Oct. 25) from 8:30 am to 6 pm.

Customize Your Own Report.

You can customize the platform by clicking the boxes next to the sections in which you are most interested. You can also download a PDF of the entire report here.

Our Platform

Forward New Orleans for Public Schools (FNOPS) is a diverse coalition of organizations committed to improving the quality of education in New Orleans. We do this through the creation of issued-based platforms in connection with School Board elections.

FNOPS is seeking a pledge from each candidate to implement the action items within this year’s platform, which emphasizes academic excellence, fairness and equity. During the School Board members’ terms, we will hold them accountable by monitoring and encouraging completion of the action items.

Read More

Candidate Scorecard

Forward New Orleans for Public Schools, as in years past, sought a pledge from each School Board candidate to implement the platform’s eight issues and related action items. The scorecard reflects their responses – and indicates that the overwhelming majority of candidates are committed to acting on these items.

We will hold our School Board members accountable by monitoring and encouraging their performance and periodically reporting on their progress towards completing these action items during their four-year term. This process is intended to keep the community engaged and active in holding their elected officials accountable for the actions to which they have committed.

We urge you to use this scorecard to inform your vote.

Our Coalition

Agenda for Children
Alliance for Diversity and Excellence
Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region
Campaign for Grade Level Reading
Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans
Ed Navigator
Education Reform Now LA
Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools
Greater New Orleans Foundation
Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana
Kingsley House
Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools
New Orleans & Co.

New Orleans Chamber of Commerce
New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce
New Schools for New Orleans
Public School Advocates
United Way of Southeast Louisiana
Urban League of Louisiana
V.I.E.T. (Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training)
Young Leadership Council

Our Process

For every School Board election since 2012, FNOPS has created a platform designed to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for public school students. Each platform is the product of a broad coalition, representing diverse perspectives and voices, that work together to reach consensus.

Before the election, we will interview each of the candidates and ask them to pledge to support the platform. We will also engage voters around the issues and share with them which candidates have taken the pledge. After the election, the pledges will become mandates for action, effectively setting the agenda for the School Board's term. Throughout, we will monitor their progress and hold them accountable while giving them our support and encouragement.

Issue 1:

Racial Equity Evaluation, Planning and Training

In June 2020, OPSB, pursuant to its Resolution No. 11-20 (Resolution), engaged a racial equity consultant to strategically evaluate School District policies, practices and procedures and use those findings to develop a racial equity plan for the School District. The Resolution calls for the racial equity consultant to present its initial findings to OPSB no later than Fall 2020. And the Resolution sets as a goal the completion of the evaluation and presentation of final policy recommendations by or before June 2021.

View the Pledge

Issue 2:

COVID-19 and Emergency Planning

The next School Board will take office in a time of great uncertainty and vulnerability. School operations will, for an undetermined period of time, look very different from pre-pandemic days. In recognition of the new reality shaped by the coronavirus pandemic, planning is essential to ensure students continue to progress towards curriculum goals, no matter what disruptions might occur.

View the Pledge

Issue 3:

Engage in System-Wide Strategic Planning and Stakeholder Engagement

The School Board should undertake a focused and comprehensive system-wide strategic planning process that engages educators, families and the community at large to improve student achievement and equitable outcomes. Stakeholders should be provided with meaningful opportunities for input on policy decisions. The strategic planning process should be transparent; stakeholders should accept (and understand) the process and the rationale behind the strategic plan. A multi-year strategic plan should identify priorities and position the School District for long term success. The School Board must ensure accurate and up-to-date information is easily accessible and made available to all those who need it during the planning process.

View the Pledge

Issue 4:

Support the Expansion and Replication of Our Most Successful Schools

Increasing the number of high-quality seats available for New Orleans’ public school children and having high-quality options with geographic diversity is paramount. The School Board must remain committed to continually increasing the opportunities for all students to receive a high-quality education through supporting and expanding high-performing school operators.

View the Pledge

Issue 5:

Ensure Equitable Access to an Excellent Education

Orleans Parish students have diverse needs; some students, such as those with disabilities or those for whom English is not their first language, require more support and resources than others. Some programming, such as coursework that will advance students’ post-secondary readiness and behavioral health, is not available on every campus and costs more to implement. The School District has implemented a differentiated funding formula that recognizes these varied needs, but more remains to be done. The School Board must continue to research new programming across the nation and better align with local partners to ensure our students and schools have the knowledge, access and support to continuously improve outcomes. Furthermore, all students must have fair and open access to diverse and high-quality public school options. This access applies equally to disadvantaged and exceptional needs students. Who gets in a school - and stays in a school - should not be subject to manipulation.

View the Pledge

Issue 6:

Set High Standards and Hold Schools Accountable for Progress

The School Board should continue to respect school autonomy while also setting high standards for schools in policy and consistently holding schools accountable for meeting these academic, operational and financial standards.

View the Pledge

Issue 7:

Act as a Responsible Resource Manager

The School Board should prioritize its resources so the maximum amount of funding possible is placed in the hands of educators, while sustaining the operations of the School District and ensuring there are funds available in case of emergencies. The School Board must also responsibly oversee the school facility maintenance program so newly built and renovated school facilities are maintained for future generations. Finally, the School Board must continue to be a responsible custodian of its General Fund balance to ensure the School District can respond effectively to catastrophes, like COVID-19 and natural disasters, while having sufficient funds to operate schools.

View the Pledge

Issue 8:

Collaborate to Implement Best Practices

The School District, schools and partner organizations have made significant progress together to support effective programming for students with special needs, to develop better protocols for bus safety, to create citywide career preparation programming, to agree upon a shared school year calendar for the benefit of families and to distribute over 1 million meals to students during the pandemic. The School Board should build upon this progress by cultivating a culture of system-wide pride and continuous improvement by encouraging further collaboration and sharing of best practices.

View the Pledge

Get The Platform