CPSB proposes property tax to update South Lake Charles schools

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - From the traffic problems on Nelson Road to updated technology and security, the Calcasieu School Board is asking South Lake Charles voters for support.

It's a problem, but is it a problem people want to pay for?

"Parents get in line and it holds up one line of traffic on Nelson Road," said Calcasieu Parish School Board Vice President, Annette Ballard.

If anyone has driven near Prien Lake Elementary during dismissal time, it's easy to notice the backup.

"When school lets out in this part of town, the traffic becomes quite an issue," said Ballard. "But we do have some plans that will alleviate the situation for all of our citizens."

Calcasieu Parish School Board is proposing a District 34, 5 mill property tax.

School board officials said large enrollment numbers cause the traffic issues at not just Prien Lake, but other schools as well.

But the proposed tax goes beyond just traffic concerns.

"We have to update so many things," said Ballard. "Sometimes, a roof needs some help and so it's all part of just normal upkeep and it's very needed."

Like at St. John Elementary, where school officials said technology updates are needed with it, always changing.

Officials said it will also help teachers better research and implement Common Core, as well as give students access to the new PARC test next year.

"It would make certain that our students are prepared," said St. John Principal, Sabrah Kingham. "Technology-wise they could use it and it makes them very competitive for later on."

Lastly, school board officials said the proposed tax would enhance security at schools.

"We have measures in place," said Ballard. "The principals and teachers all know what to do, but there are things we can do as a physical plan that will make things much safer."

It's now up to the voters on Nov. 16.

Click here for full details on how much the proposed tax could cost and the exact upgrades for each school.

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