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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

New Orleans could become all-charter city

McDonogh 35 has been one of the last traditionally run public schools in New Orleans. Photo: Kathleen Flynn/Times-Picayune

New Orleans may become an all-charter city, reports the Times-Picayune. Principals of the last five schools run by the Orleans Parish school board want to become charters, said Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. The principals plan to form a new nonprofit charter group called ExCEED.

The city’s other 80 public schools are already charters – publicly funded but run by independent nonprofits, with the requirement to meet the district’s academic standards. “We welcome the opportunity to empower our network school leaders and their school communities to determine the best path forward and access to the same financial resources and operational autonomy as other schools in our city enjoy,” Lewis said in a statement.

Chartering would bring each school up to $1,000 more per year per student, Lewis said.

In 2014, the Louisiana Recovery School District finished converting to charters all the New Orleans public schools it took over after Hurricane Katrina. The Louisiana Legislature made the victory of the charter model obvious this spring when they passed a law returning the Recovery schools to Orleans Parish School Board control — but as charters. Indeed, national observers sometimes failed to notice that the city still had a handful of traditionally run schools.

Charter opponents “had clung to hopes that the Orleans Parish School Board might someday become a more traditional district again,” reports the Times-Picayune. Conversion will be a “bitter disappointment.”

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