This guest editorial appeared in the Times-Picayune, and I wanted to share it with you.
Charter Schools Help Improve Special Education in New Orleans: Leslie Jacobs
In fourth grade, James, a special needs student at John Dibert Charter School, was struggling academically and behaviorally. He was making daily trips to the dean’s office for disruptive behavior and emotional outbursts. James is now on honor roll in eighth grade, scored mastery and advanced on state tests and is applying to Ben Franklin High School.
Zaria transferred to Arthur Ashe Charter School at the beginning of second grade as a special education student, reading at kindergarten level. By the end of fourth grade she scored mastery in English.
Zaria and James are two of the many students who have benefited from the city’s improvement in serving students with special needs.
Schools under the OPSB serve a disproportionately low number of students with disabilities. The city average is 9.9% special education students, but OPSB schools (charter and traditional combined) serve 6.6%. OPSB charters serve only 5.49% while RSD charters serve 11.1%.
Even OPSB’s open-admission charter schools are significantly under-serving special education students.
OPSB receives a lump sum based on the total number of students with disabilities in the city. It then distributes the money among its schools as if each individual school had the average 9.9% special education enrollment. That means some OPSB schools are getting much more than their fair share of special education dollars, while other schools aren’t getting enough.
Read more in this article in the Times-Picayune:
Special education enrollment numbers show Orleans Parish School Board charters lagging
View the list of schools and special education enrollment: