Orleans Parish School Board Elects New President

Jan 21, 2014

The Orleans Parish School Board elected Nolan Marshall, Jr. as it's new President on Tuesday.

Charter schools director Caroline Roemer Shirley says Orleans Parish School Board meetings over the past year have been rocky.

"It was a long year," Shirley said. "I think most people would agree with me, whether they’re part of this board or otherwise, it was a contentious year."

Shirley has seen board members argue over contracts, and the board’s disadvantaged business enterprise program — things critics say don’t have much to do with the kids they serve.

But Marshall says that as the new President, he won't allow so much strife to go on in meetings, he just wants the board to deal with the issues.

Critics say they would have preferred a more experienced candidate over Marshall, like longtime board member Cynthia Cade. Others say Marshall has voted with a board majority that was elected with the help of powerful outside interests.

But the school board voted unanimously for Marshall, and for its new vice president, Sarah Usdin.

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