ICYMI: Return of Schools is Getting Close

Return of Schools is Close

State control over New Orleans schools could be coming to an end. A bill proposed by Sen. Karen Carter-Peterson would move all New Orleans RSD schools back to OPSB by 2018. There are some key sticking points for stakeholders, but this is the closest education officials and charter advocates have come to giving their blessing to a return plan.
State tuned – Educate Now! will be discussing this legislation in more detail later this week.

Differentiated Funding Lawsuit Update

Former state superintendent Paul Pastorek has filed his first case as an education attorney – intervening in Lusher and Lake Forest’s lawsuit against OPSB on behalf of four families with disabled students. The plaintiffs (Lusher and Lake Forest) are suing to block the new funding formula; these families are countering that the current public school funding is discriminatory.

TOPS Funding in Question

Governor Edwards has stated there is currently not enough money to fun TOPS scholarships 100% next year. A number of bills that would change TOPS have made it through the Senate Education Committee, including one that would end automatic TOPS increases to match tuition hikes and another that would change how TOPS scholarships are allocated if there is a shortage of money.

Significant Findings for High Schools

An Arkansas study shows career and technical education is paying off. Students with greater exposure to career technical education (CTE) are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and earn higher wages. 

More Louisiana Headlines

The debate on a bill aimed at ending the split between select (including charters) and non-select high school playoffs has been delayed. The bill’s sponsor said he hopes the issue can be resolved without a new state law.

The U.S. Department of Education highlights Louisiana for working to reduce the number of unnecessary tests and improve the overall quality of the state’s assessments.

The Times-Picayune says the Legislature shouldn’t undermine school progress in Louisiana with bills reducing BESE’s chartering authority or limiting options for charter boards.

National Stories

Education Week profiles two local charter networks, Collegiate Academies and NOLA College Prep, for their efforts to help their alumni stay in college.

A study of Reading Recovery, an intervention program for low-achieving first graders, found participantsgained 131% of the national average rate of progress for first-grade students.

Teachers’ unions sigh in relief after a deadlock on the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower-court ruling that labor unions can charge some fees of nonmembers.

More Local News

OPSB Supt. Henderson Lewis, Jr. warned employees there might be more layoffs and staff changes at New Orleans Public Schools.

To the consternation of parents, the RSD has delayed sending school acceptance notices by a week in order to verify the centralized enrollment system’s computer-assigned placements, particularly the 2,600 preschool placements that are new this year.

Joseph Clark High School will temporarily drop its 9th grade in order to focus on expanding career and technical options for 10th through 12th grade.

In Memoriam

Educate Now! was saddened to learn of the death of educator Adrian Morgan. Adrian served as chief operating officer and finance chief for FirstLine Schools and later as executive director of the Algiers Charter School Association. Those who worked with him know he was deeply committed to expanding educational opportunities for our youth. Adrian left behind a six-year-old daughter, Grace. If you would like to contribute to a fund supporting Grace’s education and enrichment, click here. You can read more about Adrian Morgan in this article in the Times-Picayune.