Mercedes Schneider has followed the fortunes of Kira Orange-Jones, executive director of Teach for America in Louisiana, who was elected to the State Board with a large infusion of campaign funds from out-of-state Reformers In 2011 and 2015. Schneider continues her scrutiny here. Schneider notes that Orange-Jones has failed to file required financial disclosures and that her actual physical residence is in doubt, especially since she married another TFA alum who served for a time as Acting Secretary of Education in New Me O’Connell. In addition, Orange-Jones has missed about one-third of school board meetings.

In both 2011 and 2015, corporate-reform-promoting millionaires and billionaires purchased the majority of seats on the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

One of their purchases is Teach for America (TFA) executive director, Kira Orange-Jones.

Even though Orange-Jones has been BESE District 2 representative for almost eight years, she has yet to file her annual disclosure reports for 2017 and 2018.

One critical bit of information on the annual disclosure is the representative’s physical address. On this point, Orange-Jones’ actual address becomes a bit cloudy.

On the last annual disclosure that Orange-Jones filed– for 2016— Orange-Jones identifies her address as on Laurel Street in New Orleans. On the same disclosure report, Orange-Jones also acknowledges her marriage to Christopher Ruszkowski, who was at the time deputy secretary of education in New Mexico. In 2018, Ruszkowski became “secretary designee” at the NM Department of Ed when he replaced Hanna Skandera. It seems that Ruszkowski exited by 2019.

On Ruszkowski’s 2017 and 2018 financial disclosure reports, he lists a NM address. Orange-Jones’ residence remains unclear. (One can search those forms here by looking up “ruszkowski” and selecting “2017” and “2018.”)

Since Orange-Jones has not filed the required financial disclosures for 2017 and 2018, the public does not know if Orange-Jones maintained a residence in her district, one of the qualifications for serving on BESE.

But there’s more.

Orange-Jones plans to run for re-election in October 2019. The Louisiana Secretary of State has her address as being on Philip Street in New Orleans. (One can view this info here by searching “parish candidates” on the side bar; selecting “BESE District 2,” and then clicking “view candidates for selected race(s).”)

Examination of property tax records for the Philip Street address shows that the owner is NJS Properties; according to details of the search, “NJS” stands for Norma J. Sabiston.

On Orange-Jones’ July 2019 campaign finance report for the upcoming, October 2019, BESE election, one of Orange-Jones’ expenditures is $15,000 to Sabaston Consultants, whose president is Norma Jane Sabiston.

Does Orange-Jones live at the Philip Street address, or has her consultant provided the address in an attempt to legitimize Orange-Jones as a District 2 resident? Has Orange-Jones forfeited a New Orleans address at any point since her last, 2016, annual filing?

There is more. Open the link and read on.

Reformers have a lot of gall.