News Alert: BESE Votes Are In

After a 13-hour, marathon day of meetings, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has approved the following items in committee. While these votes are preliminary – each committee recommendation will be considered by the full Board on Thursday – items recommended by committees are almost always approved by the full Board.

1.  Pastorek’s Return of School Proposal:  Approved

The Recovery School District Committee approved Superintendent Pastorek’s Revised Plan for Return of Schools by a vote of 4 to 2.

2.  Charter Schools In New Orleans:  10 New Charters Approved

Eight Type 5 charter schools applicants were approved to take over failing RSD direct-run or charter schools. These non-profit operators will be assigned their specific school at a later date.

  1. Community Leaders Advocating Student Success
  2. Crescent City Schools
  3. Educators for Quality Alternatives
  4. Friends of King Charter Board (conditional approval)
  5. New Orleans Charter Science and Math Academy
  6. ReNew Schools Charter Management Org. 1
  7. ReNew Schools Charter Management Org. 2
  8. ReNew Schools Charter Management Org. 3

Additionally, the committee deferred action on James Weldon Johnson Academy’s application until Thursday’s Board meeting.

Two Type 2 charter schools were approved for New Orleans:  the Lycee Francais De La Nouvelle Orleans – a French immersion school – and the Community School of Apprenticeship Learning – a virtual school that will operate statewide.

Action on Amachi Elementary Charter School was deferred until Thursday.

The fate of these Type 2 charters is uncertain. The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) is suing to have its “District in Academic Crisis” label removed and to be allowed to evaluate charter applications like all other districts in the state. If OPSB wins, these charter applicants will need to apply to OPSB for their charters – not to BESE. For more information on the lawsuit, see this article in the Times-Picayune.

3.  High School Science Text Books:  Approved

In committee on Tuesday, BESE approved the high school science textbooks recommended by the High School Life Science Adoption Committee, rejecting opponents arguments that the textbooks do not sufficiently question the theory of evolution. For more information, view this article from the Associated Press.