Issue: # 6 June  2009 

Welcome to the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Email Newsletter.  We will  keep you updated on current charter school issues, news, and events.  Please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see in our communications to you or if you have a charter success story you would like to share.   As always, thank you for your support and voice in Louisiana's charter school movement. 
Howard Fuller to Address Louisiana's Charter Schools!
****Sign Up 10 or more from your school and recieve 15% off the total Registration Cost!****
Registration is officially open for the 2nd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference to be held September 11-12 at the Hampton Inn & Suites (Convention Center location) in New Orleans.  Special conference rates at the hotel are $79/nt. for a standard room and $129/nt. for a suite (Limited availability; Rate available until on August 11th).  Click HERE to reserve a room.
This year's conference will grow to a 2 day event with more breakout sessions, vendors, and networking events!  

Keynote Speakers Confirmed! 
"...If this movement is going to mean anything, we've got to close that achievement gap. We've got to eliminate that achievement gap." 
Immediately before his appointment as dinstinguished Professor of Education at Marquette University, as well as founding the Institute for the Transformation of Learning, Dr. Fuller served as the Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools, June 1991 - June 1995. He is the Chair of the Board of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO); the Chair of the Board of the Wisconsin Municipalities Private School Finance Commission; the Chair of the Board of CEO Leadership Academy and the Chair of the Board of the Alliance for Choices in Education in Milwaukee. Dr. Fuller also serves on the Board of Directors of Transcenter for Youth; the Johnson Foundation; the Joyce Foundation and Advocates for School Choice, and he is a member of the Charter School Review Committee for the City of Milwaukee. 
Dr. Fuller was the closing ceremony speaker at the National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C. in June and ROCKED THE HOUSE.  He is inspiring, shocking, and a true innovator!  Do not miss the chance to see this nationally recognized expert and educator!
As a Ntional Alliance for Public Charter Schools Hall of Fame recipient and principal of Vaughn Next Century Learning Center in Pacoima, California, Dr. Chan has consistently pushed the limits of education for nearly 40 years as an educator, school leader, and the founder of the first conversion charter school in the nation.  Serving more than 2,000 students, Dr. Chan's school was named the 1995 California Distinguished School and the 1996 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.  Dr. Chan is a member  of the California State Board of Education, adjunct professor at UCLA, and a Commissioner at the California City Commision for Youth and Families.  A recipient of the Milken Educator Award, McGraw Hills Distinguished Educator Award, Gleitsman Community Activist Award, and Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.  Chan has relentlessly shared her innovative ideas on education and social reform internationally and has testified before 37 sate legislatures on charter school policies.
Request for Presenters!
***Deadline Extended!**** 
We are also pleased to announce that we are involving our charter school community in this year's conference!  The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools is soliciting proposals for speakers to present breakout sessions at the 2009 conference.  Please take the opportunity to share your knowledge, expertise, and best practices with your charter school peers. Deadline for submission is July 10, 2009.  Download the form HERE.
Award Ceremony Nominations! 
We are pleased to announce the kickoff of the 1st Annual LAPCS Charter School Awards.  These awards are designed to recognize the contributions of school leaders, teachers, board members, schools, and community leaders in their efforts to advocate for, support, or enhance Louisiana's public charter schools.   Download the information packet and nomination form HERE!

Policy Update
  • Seventeen charter schools underwent their three-year evaluations, and every school received a favorable BESE vote to extend its charter for two additional years.  Congratulations to all these schools - and their students and parents - for making this happen!
    Schools:  Sophie B. Wright, KIPP Believe- Phillips, Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Behrman, Medard Nelson, S.J. Green, KIPP McDonogh 15, Alice Harte (Type 4), Edna Karr (Type 4), Lafayette Academy, MLK Science and Technology, Fischer Elementary, James Singleton, McDonogh 32, McDonogh 28 City Park, and Harriet Tubman Elementary.
  • Paul Vallas confirmed his earlier statement that additional Restart monies (between $200 and $250 per student) would be availabe during this upcoming school year.  While the RSD was not able to provide a concrete timeline for these disbursements, it anticipates a three to four month waiting period as the federal goverment reconciles pending insurance claims.
  • The LDE's Office of Charter Schools announced it would be collecting 0.25% administrative fee for all Type 2, Type 4, and Type 5 charter schools.  Since the RSD currently withholds 2% from Type 5 schools, no additional funds will be deducted for Type 5 charters.  Rather, the Department's withholdings for administrative fees will be included in the amount already withheld by the RSD.
  • In the final days of this year's legislative session, the charter cap was eliminated for all types of charter schools.  Representative Walt Leger sponsored an amendment to HB 519 to lift the charter cap, which had been set at 70, in order to position Louisiana more favorably to receive federal "Race to the Top" stimulus dollars.  With the charter cap gone, it is believed that Louisiana is a prime contender for the federal monies which will be administered through competitive grants.
  • A flat two percent (2%) administrative fee may be imposed by any authorizer on the charter schools it oversees (HB 519).  To impose such a fee, the authorizer must submit a projected budget delineating how these monies will be spent (i.e., define specific responsibilities related to oversight and administrative tasks) thirty days before the start of the fiscal year.  Additionally, the authorizer must provide a final accounting of how the monies were actually spent within ninety days of the close of the fiscal year.
  • The practice of dentistry is now prohibited on school sites (HB 687).
  • The governor's multi-faceted charter school bill (SB 146) has been signed into law.
  • Several resolutions have been commissioned to study:  the charter law (HCR 193); intervention strategies available to to schools at risk of state-takeover (HCR 131); the advisability/feasibility of returning certain schools to local school systems from the RSD before the expiration of the inital 5-year term (HCR 151); the financial burden of rising retiree health care costs (HCR 164); charter school funding (HCR 168); and the criteria used to determine renewal/non-renewal decisions (SCR 67); charter schools facilities "best practices" (HCR 33)


DOE Charter Office Corner 
In May 2009, the Louisiana Department of Education released a Request for Applications (RFA) for charter school applicants interested in opening charter schools in 2010.  The RFA is currently available online at  Applications are due on August 21, 2009.

Charter applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent to the Department of Education Charter School Office in order to be able to apply for a charter in accordance with the approved timelines.  Letters of Intent are due no later than July 10, 2009. Please note that for New Orleans applicants, the Department will invite selected respondents to submit final charter school application. Please see Special Instructions for New Orleans Applicants on page 19 of the RFA.

The Department will be offering two applicant support workshops in July (Location TBD). These workshops will provide more detailed technical assistance on topics pertinent to developing a successful charter application.  Local and national charter school experts will lead the sessions and provide insight and details on ways to plan for a successful school and prepare a winning application.
Workshop Dates:
July 11 (8:30-3:00)
Overview of the Application Process
Mission, Vision and School Culture
Board of Directors
July 18 (8:30-3:00)
Education Program
Serving Special Populations
School Operations
More details about the workshops will be announced on the Charter Schools Office website
For additional details, please call 225-342-3640 or email
**Urgent Reminder** Louisiana's current grant award expires on July 31, 2009. Current PCSP grant recipients are reminded to submit reimbursement requests promptly. Budget revisions are due to Education Finance as soon as possible. Grant awards are not approved until revisions have been submitted and reviewed. Please note that the expiration date (of July 31, 2009) also applies to schools that are currently working on revisions.

Please contact Karen Sheppard at  or Karen McCarvy at , if you questions regarding your PCSP grant or need technical assistance with your revisions.
Stanford University CREDO Report: Louisiana Charter School Performance

Statewide, African-American Students Also Academically Outperform

New Orleans, LA - A report released today by Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) found that public charter schools in Louisiana are outperforming their non-charter school peers on student achievement. The report also found that African-American students, as well as students in poverty, performed significantly better in Louisiana charter schools compared to their non-charter school counterparts. Specifically, the report found that students in these categories reported significantly better gains in reading and math than their non-charter school counterparts.
The CREDO report's findings were significant due to the fact that the vast majority of students that attend Louisiana public schools are African American. With fifty-eight percent of the New Orleans public school population attending charter schools, New Orleans leads the nation in the percentage of public school students attending charter schools.
"Due to our state's embrace of the charter school movement, Louisiana is one of a handful of states that is closing the achievement gap between African-American students and their white counterparts," said Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools. "Now that charter schools have proven their effectiveness at improving learning for African-American students, we need to continue to share how they're achieving these academic successes with all public schools so the entire system improves."
Also significant is the percentage of special education students found in public charter schools in Louisiana.  The overall proportion of charter school students who are Special Education is 16 %, which is equal to the 16% found in non-charter schools. 
The report also found that statewide, charter schools overall are improving student achievement at a faster rate than non-charter schools and that students in their second, third, and fourth year in a charter schools saw significantly more positive achievement gains than their non-charter school counterparts.
"When a charter school opens its doors, it tends to attract students that were underserved in the traditional public school system," said Roemer Shirley. "This report proves what we know, which is that the longer these underserved students have the opportunity to learn in a charter school, the better they academically perform."
Read the full Louisina report by CREDO HERE.
To view all of LAPCS' Press Releases Click HERE
National Charter Schools Conference


 The Louisiana group that stormed Capitol Hill to advocate for our charters
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools held their Annual Conference June 21-24 in Washington D.C.  The conference was a huge success with 3500 charter school leaders, teachers, board members, staff, and advocates participating in the event that included breakout sessions, exhibits, and networking events.  Louisiana was represented by the Association, the Department of Education, the Eastbank Collaborative, Algiers Charter Schools, and many of our charter schools including The Max charter school, MLK Charter School, Singleton, among many more.
Included in the events was Advocacy Day, on Wednesday the 24th.  Caroline Roemer Shirley took the lead in facilitating discussions with the Louisiana Congressional delegation including Charlie Melancon, Mary Landrieu, Joseph Cao, Bill Cassidy, and David Vitter.  Topics of discussion included the cut to our Title 1 funds, the need to support the ALL STAR Act, equitable funding for charter schools in stimulus monies, and the success Louisiana's charter schools have obtained.  "Advocacy Day was a great success, and we felt like the Congressional Delegation was overall informed and supportive of Louisiana's charter schools.  We will continue to keep in touch with our legislators and inform them of both our successes and our needs," says Caroline Roemer Shirley.


Caroline Roemer Shirley talks to to Rep. Charlie Melancon about our need for support
Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan kicked off the conference as keynote speaker.  Highlights of his speech included the need for quality and accountability in today's charter schools.  Read the full transcript of the Secretary's speech HERE.


 The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools in front of the Capitol
New Orleans Members Advisory Council
The LAPCS Members Advisory Council is a key organizational component in identifying problem issues, setting priorities, gathering data, communicating important issues, resolving problems, and more.  
Next MAC Meeting:
When:  August 18, 2009 (Time TBA)
Where: TBA 
To register to attend the MAC Meeting, please email
MAC Committee Meetings 
During the December MAC meeting, we created 5 committees 
(Policy/Legislative, Operations/Finance, Quality Standards, Facilities, and Governance/Board) with the purpose of collectively finding solutions to challenges that many charter schools face.   All board members, school leaders, and school staff are welcome to sign up. 
If you would like to join one of these working committees, click here.
Job Listings Now On LAPCS Website
Please note that the LAPCS website now has a statewide job vacancy posting page on our website.  Please let your HR or recruiting staffer know that this resource is available. To access the page, click HERE.
The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools also has a New Orleans job vacancy page available.  To access this site, click HERE.

Grant Opportunities

In partnership with NSNO, the LAPCS is pleased to bring you a comprehensive list of grant opportunities that may be of interest to Louisiana's charter schools.  The list is updated daily with new and interesting grant opportunities, so check back often! To visit the list click HERE.
Welcome New LAPCS Members!
New School Members:
New Orleans Science & Math Academy 
*We currently represent 50 schools throughout Louisiana.
Articles of Interest 
"Charter Schools Provide Good Model On Teacher Pay"
Washington Post
June 1, 2009 
Jay Mathews discusses the notion of merit pay for teachers in charter schools: It is hard for me to find a school leader with a track record for raising student achievement who does not admire almost everything Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is doing with the D.C. schools. Yeah, I said almost. One important item on her agenda is not so popular -- merit pay for teachers. 
"Unions Sets Sights on High-Profile Charter Networks"
Education week
June 10, 2009
What started as a ripple in the charter community shows signs of becoming a wave as major charter school networks scramble to respond to an unfamiliar phenomenon: moves by their teachers to organize unions. 
"Pressuring Parents Helps San Francisco Slash Truancy 23%"
San Francisco Chronicle
June 9, 2009 
San Francisco schools showed a 23 percent drop in the number of elementary schoolchildren skipping classes this year as citywide efforts, including parental prosecution, appeared to be paying off.
"'Expectations Gap' May Be Contributing Factor in Dropout Crisis, Report Finds"
June 4, 2009 
Report Identifies "Expectations Gap" and the Need for More Support at Home as Major Factors in the Rising Tide of High School Dropouts
About Us 
The mission of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is to provide a clear and distinctive voice for Louisiana's charter schools, educating the public about their progress and ensuring that they thrive for the benefit of students statewide. The Association provides leadership, member services and public information to serve and support the charter schools in their pursuit of academic excellence.   
Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director
Caroline has 20 years of experience organizing, developing, and managing corporate and political communications strategies and public policy initiatives.  As the Executive Director of the Association, 
she is building a statewide coalition of charter school leaders, board members, and charter proponents.  
Contact Caroline at
Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
As a former New Orleans public school teacher, Andrea Chen has supervised the development and certification of teachers through the University of New Orleans Graduate School of Education, The New Teacher Project, and Teach For America.  She is a graduate of Stanford University, where she majored in Philosophy and Anthropological Sciences, earned her M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from the University of New Orleans and Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Contact Andrea at 
Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
Elizabeth is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in Business Marketing.  Since graduation, she has worked in marketing for the Community Coffee Company.  Before joining LAPCS, she participated in outreach efforts for the Louisiana Children's Museum and the New Orleans Mission. 
Contact Elizabeth at


2009 Louisiana Charter Schools Conference
September 11-12, 2009
New Orleans, La

***See more information about venue and keynote speakers in "Events" below***


Interested in saving 15-85% off the list-price on office and classroom supplies? 

 Learn more about our STAPLES Statewide Charter Schools Buying Program open to all LAPCS members!  Click HERE!


Children's Charter School Students participate in Culture Camp
Children's Charter School's Big Buddy program went to St. James Episcopal Church's Ministries Building in Baton Rouge to learn about symphonic music and musical instruments with Derrian Tolden, operations director for the symphony; experience ballet; and create a variety of art projects with sculptor Denise Greenwood and artist Demonde.  Fun!  Read more.

Algiers Charter School kids tour baseball and history at Rickwood Field in Birmingham 
Local students recently traveled to Birmingham, Ala. to attend the 14th Annual Rickwood Classic baseball game. The trip and game, played at historic Rickwood Field, gave the students history lessons, especially those where baseball and the South intertwined. Awesome!
PriceWaterHouseCoopers sends volunteers to help Warren Easton Senior High School
Project "Make [responsibility] Count," a two-day community outreach initiative in New Orleans will include repairs to the exterior of Warren Easton.
Charter School Students partcicpate in "Through the Youth Lens" to document public education through photos 
Abramson Charter School, New Orleans Sci High, and Thurgood Marshall were among the students that participated in the exhibit.  Read More
Have a Voice! 
Have you joined the LAPCS as a member?  For more information about membership  and it's many benefits, click here.