Connect with us


AFT Is Now A Major Player In The Upcoming OPSB Races Campaign Finance Report Reveals $225,000 Contribution to PAC



It’s official. The American Federation of Teachers has become a major player in the upcoming races for the Orleans Parish School Board.

A recent filing with the Louisiana Board of Ethics reveals that the union has given a whopping $225,000 to Orleans Future PAC, a political action committee AFT launched in September to support candidates opposed to charter schools and the reforms New Orleans has undertaken in the years since Hurricane Katrina.

As reported previously, Orleans Future PAC is headed by former Jefferson Federation of Teachers president Meladie Munch, although the PAC’s filings are prepared by an out-of-state campaign finance consultant and its funds are held in an Montana bank.

Former JFT president Meladie Munch is the chair and treasurer of Orleans Future PAC.

Former JFT president Meladie Munch is the chair and treasurer of Orleans Future PAC.

Orleans Future PAC appears to be primarily focused on the District 6 OPSB race, which pits incumbent Woody Koppel against political newcomer, David Alvarez. Earlier this week, it was discovered that Orleans Future PAC was running ads on YouTube in support of Alvarez.

However, political insiders say that AFT’s recent sizable donation could mean that Orleans Future PAC is preparing to run television ads in support of Alvarez, which would significantly up-the-ante in what, up to now, has been a relatively low-key race.

In any case, AFT’s interest in the OPSB races show that the union is committed to undoing the reforms that have dramatically improved the city’s schools in recent years. Voters who want to see our schools continue on the path of improvement should support Woody Koppel on November 8th.

Pete became involved in education reform as a 2002 Teach For America corps member in New Orleans Public Schools and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP, and the Recovery School District. As a consultant, he developed teacher evaluation systems and served as a strategic advisor to school district leaders in Cleveland, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He now writes about education policy and politics and lives in New Orleans.



Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Blair H duQuesnay

FYI NOLA Important School Board elections on the ballot. If you’re in these districts vote for Koppel or Marshall.…

Why Is David Alvarez Flouting Campaign Finance Law? – PE + CO

This Article was mentioned on

Brigitte Nieland

Brigitte Nieland liked this Article on



PSA: It’s Millage Time Three School Taxes Are Up For Renewal On October 14th



Voters in New Orleans will be heading to the polls next month for the first round of several high-profile citywide races. While the contests for mayor and various city council seats have drawn plenty of attention, three important school board millages are also on the ballot (literally at the very bottom, so don’t miss them).

The millage proposal language on an Orleans Parish sample ballot from the Louisiana Secretary of State.

The three proposals simply renew existing property taxes for another decade and will provide our city’s public schools with approximately $38 million annually. Funding from these millages will benefit both charter and traditional schools, whether they’re under the oversight of the Orleans Parish School Board or the Recovery School District. If they are not renewed, schools will receive $850 less per student each year, resulting in cuts that will negatively impact our kids.

Public schools in New Orleans have made tremendous gains over the past 12 years and the revenue generated by these taxes will help ensure that progress continues.

That’s why New Orleanians should vote YES on all three school board millage proposals when they head to the polls on October 14th.

Continue Reading


PSA: NAACP Charter School Hearing Tonight Don't Let Critics Distort The Story In New Orleans



Tonight, the NAACP will be holding a hearing on charter schools at the New Orleans City Council Chambers (1300 Perdido Street) starting at 5:30pm. It will be the sixth hearing that the NAACP has held in cities across the country following their inexplicable call for a moratorium on charter schools last fall.

Flyer for tonight’s NAACP hearing.

The NAACP’s call for a moratorium has been roundly criticized by education reform advocates, as well as by the editorial board of The New York Times, which called the move “a misguided attack” by an organization that “has struggled in recent years to win over younger African-Americans, who often see the group as out of touch.” The Washington Post was even more scathing in their take on the moratorium, linking the NAACP’s recent turn against charters to the substantial financial support the group has received from the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association.

Angry charter school parents from Memphis confronted NAACP officials at their national meeting in Cincinnati last fall.

In any case, NAACP officials have apparently decided to dispense with any pretense of objectivity at tonight’s meeting by inviting a number of outspoken charter opponents to speak, including:

  • Bill Quigley, a law professor at Loyola who filed a specious civil rights complaint against a local charter network that was eventually dismissed by the Louisiana Department of Education for lack of evidence;
  • Walter Umrani, an anti-charter candidate for the District 4 seat on the Orleans Parish School Board who received only 13% of the vote;
  • Willie Zanders, the lead attorney in the class action lawsuit against the Orleans Parish School Board and State of Louisiana over the layoffs of school board employees following Hurricane Katrina that was dismissed by the Louisiana Supreme Court;
  • Adrienne Dixson, a former education professor from Illinois who recently compared the education landscape in New Orleans to “The Hunger Games”;

  • State Rep. Joe Bouie who has used his position on the House Education Committee to spread misinformation about charter schools and engage in obstructionism, as seen below.

Charter school supporters need to attend tonight’s NAACP hearing to ensure that the truth is heard and that the positive impact that charters have had on the children of this city is not denied.

I hope to see you there!

Continue Reading





Send this to a friend