LA Returns Schools to Local New Orleans Board; But Schools Remain Charters, Still Unequal
You may have read that Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a law in mid-May to shut down the Louisiana Recovery School District and return schools to the locally elected school board. Like me, you may also have wondered what this will mean in a district where all the schools are now charter schools. Will the charter schools once again become traditional public schools? Not a chance. What has happened is that an extra layer of state intrusion into the affairs of the school district has been eliminated. The rest is not yet clear.
Here is how some people have tried to explain the transition, beginning with Emma Brown in the Washington Post: “Many charter school advocates describe it as an inevitable next step in the city’s bold education experiment, and one that could serve as a road map for other cities grappling with how to manage and coordinate a large number of charter schools… But some critics say it is a whitewash, written to appear as if local control over public education will be restored when the bill really leaves most of the power in the hands of the unelected boards of directors who run each of the city’s charter schools… (T)he parish school board—which already runs a half-dozen schools and oversees more than a dozen charter schools—would be prohibited from interfering with school-level decisions about a litany of issues, including instruction, schedules, staffing, contracting and collective bargaining. Instead, the district superintendent and board members would be responsible for reviewing schools’ performance and deciding whether they have met their targets and should be allowed to continue operating.”
Mercedes Schneider, a New Orleans teacher and blogger describes the transition a little more technically, but it still isn’t clear how it all will work: “The charters to be returned can petition the local school board and state board for permission to act as their own independent school board (‘local education agency,’ or LEA). If approved, then the charter acting as its LEA will be overseen directly by the state. The state board is to establish administrative procedures so that the state superintendent has the authority to revoke a charter’s LEA authority and return it to the local school board. The state board is to determine financial and other conditions that the LEA charters must meet in order to continue to receive public money. Any charters (whether choosing to act as their own LEAs or not) will continue to have control over issues such as LA Returns Schools to Local New Orleans Board; But Schools Remain Charters, Still Unequal | janresseger: