Out of Control Policy Blog

All charter school district for New Orleans

Via the Education Gadfly:

The Orleans Parish's school board has agreed to charter all 13 schools in the city's West Bank. Furthermore, according to the Times-Picayune, Mayor Ray Nagin has asked Governor Kathleen Blanco to "help him create a citywide charter school system." As John Maginnis, a Louisiana political commentator, writes in the Picayune, "A network of well-run, well-financed schools with motivated faculties could attract families back to the city the way the old mismanaged, bankrupt system attracted FBI agents."

In addition, Louisiana has been awarded a $20 million No Child Left Behind grant to fix existing charter schools and start new ones.

Louisiana has a weak charter school law that gives too much control to the school board. The state should consider strengthening that law and holding a competitive bid that might attract successful charter school operators to the city. The school board might consider contacting some of the growing nonprofit charter school chains in California that are fueling California's charter school growth.

Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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