ORLEANS PARISH, LA. — Orleans Parish voters will have to decide on three millage propositions at the polls. These propositions focus on infrastructure, housing and economic development, and early childhood education. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says voters need to vote “yes” on all of these issues, especially proposition two, which focuses on early education.
“70% of our third graders right now cannot read at third grade level. We have work to do,” said Mayor Cantrell.
If proposition two passes, the public library will see 40% decrease in its budget. The Bureau of Governmental Research, a private non-profit that prepares information for voters, opposes all three propositions.
“BGR took a position against the three property tax propositions, primarily because there’s not enough adequate information to make an informed decision on the propositions,” said BGR’s Vice President Stephen Stuart.
Stuart also says proposition two creates uncertainty for the future of the public library system.
“There’s not a strategic plan or a clear road map for how the libraries would be able to right-size their budget,” said Stuart.
Dr. Gabriel Morley, Director of the New Orleans Public Library System, is in favor of proposition two, saying investment in early education is critical.
“If we want to end the systemic tide of illiteracy and poverty and these other social problems, we need to take action,” said Dr. Morley.
Regardless if these millages are passed–or if they fail–voters are expected to see the affect of this election over the next 20 years.
The mayor also said that if these millages don’t pass, it will result in more city furloughs and possibly layoffs.
However, the mayor did not give specifics on which departments might see the cuts.