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.
BESE convened in
Baton Rouge on March 9th, 10th, and 11th and subsequently held an RSD
Committee meeting on March 29th in New Orleans at McDonogh 35. Highlights
- BESE voted to
increase the MFP by 2.75%. The legislature must approve
this increased MFP before it takes effect for SY 2010-11.
- Two community
conversion charter schools, both in New Orleans - Spirit of Excellence Learning Academy and
Morris Jeff Community School - requested that BESE approve each to
open as a charter school in SY 2010-11, one-year in advance of their expected
opening. BESE deferred both requests until next month, pending
review of additional information from the Department of
- Ken Campbell's
outstanding service was recognized by BESE members, and all of them, including
those who often voted against Mr. Campbell's recommendations, voiced sadness
to see him go. Ken's last day as Director of the State Charter
School Office will be Monday, April 5th.
All Charter school boards are required to follow Louisiana Public Meeting and Public Records Law. To better
understand what is required under Louisiana Public Meeting Law
(also known as Sunshine Laws), please click here. To better understand
what is required under Louisiana Public Records Law, please click here. Both primers are provided courtesy of PAR ("Public Affairs
Research Council of Louisiana"). For more information on this non-profit,
see http://www.la-par.org/. LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGINS MARCH 29, 2010
Bills to Watch
HB 388 LEAVE OF ABSENCE (Author: P. Smith)Removes
from the law the leave of absence provision that requires a local
school board grant a leave of absence, not to exceed three years, to
any employee in its school system requesting such leave in order to be
employed in a charter school.
also that the transfer of a local school board employee to a Type 4
charter school shall be governed by the transfer policy of the local
HB 420 CHARTER SCHOOL FUNDING (Author: W. Leger)
to the use of certain local revenues for computing and allocating the
per pupil amount provided to all charter schools, specifies use of
current year rather than prior year amounts in such computations and
allocations. Also deletes provision requiring certain minimum per pupil
funding pursuant to the most recent legislatively approved MFP formula.
HB 658 TEACHER RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF LA (Author: Ritchie) Current
law allows a charter school to choose to participate in the Teacher's
Retirement System of LA (TRSL) or not. The proposed law removes the
choice and requires all charter school teachers to participate in TRSL.
HB 1128 SPECIAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS (Author: W . Leger) Establishes certain requirements for BESE and local school boards relative to
schools including that BESE shall develop a model compliance plan for
providing special education and related services in charter schools;
requires BESE to determine: whether the plan provides for a master plan
for improving behavior and discipline, whether the plan provides for
collecting data, and whether it provides a compliance plan for the
provision of special education and related services.
Proposed requirements for charter schools:
(1) The proposed charter must provide a plan for meeting the needs of students with exceptionalities.
(2) A plan to educate parents on their educational rights under state and federal law.
Include research-based discipline programs, such as positive behavioral
interventions and supports, as provided in present law.
(4) Include a plan for collecting data for the compilation of progress profiles.HB 1154 CREATION OF CHARTER SCHOOL COMMISSION (Author: S. Carter) Provides
for the creation and establishment of the La. Charter Schools
Commission including its powers, duties, and membership. Also provides
for the transfer of certain present law powers, duties, and authority
relative to charter schools from BESE to the commission.
SENATE BILLS SB 66 CREATION OF ATTENDANCE ZONES (Author: Morrell)
enrollment preferences for students residing within a geographic
attendance zone created by the charter school and approved by the
charter school's authorizer. Beginning in the
2010-11 school year, thirty percent of the charter school's population
must be derived from the specified attendance zone; if such cannot be
accomplished by then, it must be accomplished as "quickly as
SB 74 CHARTER SCHOOL ADVISORY BOARDS (Author: Morrell) Mandates the creation of a seven-member community advisory
board for every school - RSD direct-operated or RSD charter school - in
the Recovery School District.
prohibits BESE from authorizing a new or conversion charter school in
the RSD for which not more than one application was received.
SB 157 FORCED ARBITRATION (Author: Murray)
any dispute between the Recovery School District and a charter school,
or the RSD and a city, parish, or other local school board, arising out
of a contractual matter shall be referred to and resolved by binding
SB 240 OPSB $9 MILLION CARVE-OUT (Author: Murray) Allows
the Orleans Parish School Board to withhold monies otherwise
transferrable to the Recovery School District to cover the actual
amount expended by the OPSB for the cost of workers' compensation
premiums and the employee and employer portions of health insurance
benefits for retired employees incurred by the OPSB, not to exceed $9
These carve-outs are in addition to the carve-outs currently allowed. SB 274 TRSL MANDATE ONLY FOR FORMER DISTRICT TEACHERS AT CHARTER SCHOOLS (Author: Heitmeier) Permits
charter schools to require only those teachers who were members of TRSL
due to previous employment to continue active membership in TRSL
throughout the duration of their employment at the charter school. All
other teachers may not be eligible to participate in TRSL if the
charter school so chooses.
SB 344 LOCAL AUTHORIZER TRANSPARENCY FOR CHARTER APPROVAL AND RENEWAL (Author: Duplessis) Expands transparency of local authorizers during the approval and renewal process. Specifically,
for the approval process, local authorizers now must furnish all
application requirements on the local district's website, must review
all applications over a 90-day period, and must issue all decisions in
writing no later than May 31
st of each year.
the renewal process, local authorizers must notify a charter operator
in writing of any decisions made relative to the renewal or non-renewal
of a school's charter not later than January 31st of the year in which the charter would expire.
Finally, for all types of charter schools, a
charter school which has met or exceeded the benchmarks established for
it in accordance with the school and district accountability system,
has demonstrated growth in student achievement, and has had no
significant audit findings shall be deemed a high-performing school and
charter shall be automatically renewed.
BILL ALSO CONTAINS LANGUAGE IMPACTING TYPE 2 CONVERSION CHARTER SCHOOLS
- IN PARTICULAR, PAYMENT OF A PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF BOND INDEBTEDNESS
AND PAYMENT OF RENT UP TO THE FACILITY'S FAIR MARKET VALUE.]
SB 353 NO LOCAL FUNDS TO TYPE 2 SCHOOLS UNLESS A SPECIAL ELECTION SO PERMITS (Author: Nevers) Prohibits
any local revenue to fund a Type 2 charter school unless a special
election is held and the voters so decide by a majority vote.SB 485 SPECIAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS (Author: Morrell)
NEW ORLEANS MAYOR ELECT MITCH LANDRIEU'S EDUCATION TASK FORCE
Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced his "Education Task Force" this month, and many members from the charter school community were invited to participate including LAPCS Executive Director Caroline Roemer Shirley, as well as LAPCS MAC Board Representative, Hal Brown. We will keep you updated on any pertinent news regarding the work of this committee.
|Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council Identifies Best Practices for Charter Schools|
March 9, 2010|
Karen Rowley, Ph.D.
Special Projects Manager
(225) 926-8414 ext. 26
The Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) today
released an in-depth research report identifying best practices among
Louisiana charter schools that can be replicated both in traditional
public schools and new charter schools. "Charter Schools in Louisiana:
What Lessons Do They Have to Offer the Education Community?" describes
these best practices, explains how charter schools are using them and
calls for the state to take an active role in collecting and
disseminating information about them to all school districts and
that members of the charter school community are exchanging information
about these practices as they work to improve the educational
achievement of their students," said PAR President Jim Brandt. "It only
makes sense for the state to get the maximum benefit from the lessons
being learned in the charter schools and to share those lessons as
widely as possible."
The report finds a number of best practices that can be grouped into five categories.
Establishing a learning environment
Best practices: clearly defined academic expectations, clearly
defined behavioral expectations, a rewards or incentive system to
encourage good conduct, unity-building events, parental involvement
initiatives, calm and encouraging atmosphere
Best practices: clearly defined assessment structures, mandatory
tracking and analysis of data generated from assessments, intervention
Best practices: extended school days, extended school years,
Saturday programs, summer programs, non-academic activities, field trips
Teacher support and development
Best practices: Informal and formal observations of classrooms,
administrative and peer feedback, regularly scheduled planning periods,
regularly scheduled department/grade level meetings, regularly
scheduled faculty meetings, professional development
Policy-focused governing boards
Best practices: Formal process for selecting new board members,
diversity of skills among board members, clearly defined process for
evaluating school leader, succession planning, formal board training
All of these
best practices can be replicated in both traditional public schools and
new charter schools, but they are labor-intensive and require a
significant amount of organization and preparation before they can be
implemented. In general, Louisiana's charter schools are better
positioned to implement them because of their autonomy and flexibility.
It is not impossible for traditional public schools to do the same
thing, however. For example, the Recovery School District already has
begun to implement a number of the best practices described here in its
traditional, public schools.
problem is that information about these practices tends to be exchanged
primarily among those in the charter school community. At the same
time, local school districts generally are suspicious of, if not
hostile toward, charter schools. That makes it difficult to engage in a
public dialogue about which practices are working well and which lend
themselves to replication in traditional public schools. In light of
this, PAR makes the following recommendation:
1: The state Department of Education should create an advisory council
to conduct ongoing analysis of best practices in Louisiana charter
schools that can be replicated in traditional public schools and help
develop guidelines for how these best practices might be implemented.
Further, the council should prepare an annual report for dissemination
among all local school districts.
data also showed some areas of ongoing concern for charter schools,
including funding, facilities, community outreach and transparency.
Transparency, in particular, is a concern because it refers to the ease
with which the public can access information about existing and
proposed charter schools. Unfortunately, the charter school landscape
in Louisiana remains difficult for many parents to navigate. Therefore,
PAR has two recommendations to enhance the transparency of charter
2: The state Department of Education should maintain a Web site with an
accurate and easily accessible inventory of charter schools statewide,
along with copies of their charters, amendments to those charters, the
process for third-year performance evaluations and for charter
renewals, and summary budget documents to ensure maximum transparency
in the expenditure of public dollars. In addition, the Web site should
provide links to all of the charter schools' Web sites.
Recommendation 3: State law should
require each charter school to have a Web site that provides such
information as the school's physical address, phone number and name of
a specific contact person; a list of administrators, faculty and staff,
and their work contact information; a list of governing board members,
and the time and place of all of their meetings for the school year;
and the agendas for all board meetings so that parents and other
interested parties will know ahead of time what is to be discussed. In
addition, each school should provide a clear explanation of its
admission requirements, if there are any, and a step-by-step
explanation of how to register.
charter school experiment is just underway in New Orleans and in the
state as a whole. The early indications are that it is succeeding in
bringing student achievement up, but more time is needed. PAR's
research has identified some best practices that can help increase the
chances for success among Louisiana's charter schools. Further, these
best practices do not have to be unique to charter schools; they can be
implemented in any school and in any district willing to try new ideas.
state should take advantage of this opportunity and of growing public
support to encourage all public schools to adopt those best practices
that might work for them," said Brandt.
M. Rowley, Ph.D., special projects manager, is the primary author of
this report. Funding for this research was provided by Baptist
Community Ministries, Community Coffee Fund, Keller Family Foundation
and Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation. For additional information or
to download a copy of the report, go to PAR's Web site at www.la-par.org.
|Charter 1st Fridays at Akili Academy & Kenilworth Science & Tech|
Akili Academy's morning Dream Circle
A new program called Charter First
Fridays invites the community to visit, tour and learn about public charter
schools. Created by the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Charters First Fridays takrs place on the first Friday of every month.
In February, Akili Academy in New Orleans and Kenilworth Science & Technology Charter Schools opened their doors to the public.
"Across the nation, high-quality charter schools are providing families
and children with an education that was not available to them 18 years ago. In
cities like New York City, Chicago, and Boston, charter schools are working to
close the achievement gap and transform children's lives. Still, most people
have never seen these inspiring public schools in action," said National
Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nelson Smith. "Charter
First Fridays seeks to change that by setting up regular opportunities for
members of the public to visit a charter school and get involved in the movement
where they live."
The first Friday of every month, the LAPCS will assist a charter school in opening it's doors to the community. This is a great opportunity for the business community, prospective parents and students, and the general public to step inside a charter school and witness firsthand the innovation in learning that takes place.
On April 9, 2010, Einstein Charter School will be open in New Orleans, and Crestworth Learning Academy will be open in Baton Rouge.
If you are interested in participating in the Charter First Fridays program, please contact Elizabeth Garrett at email@example.com
|Job Listings 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.
|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.
4th Annual Certified Teachers Fair
Saturday, May 15th, 2010 9 a.m. - 1 p. m.
Xavier University Student
Third Floor Ballroom
4980 Dixon Street, New Orleans
Open to all charter schools in the state. Charter Schools can register on the Eastbank Collaborative
Tulane Hosts the Aspen Institute's Commission on NCLB National Public Hearing
The Aspen Institute's Commission on No Child Left Behind invites you to attend a national public hearing:
Working Together for Student Success:
Accountability, Data, and High Standards
April 5, 2010
1:00 - 4:00 P.M.
Tulane University (Lavin Bernick Center - Room #213/Kendall Cram Room)
The President's recent call to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act (ESEA) in his State of the Union address comes at a time
of reform momentum. Much promising work is underway, but accountability
risks getting lost in the shuffle of competing federal programs,
priorities, and requirements if ESEA-the anchor of K-12 federal
policy-is not updated to reflect the shifting landscape, as well as
incorporate needed changes like the use of growth models. Many
questions remain about how best to improve the accuracy and
effectiveness of the law's core accountability provisions and what
modifications would be necessary to align to state led efforts to raise
this public hearing, Louisiana state superintendent and Commissioner
Paul Pastorek and members of the Commission's Accountability, Data, and
Standards Committee, chaired by National Council of La Raza's Delia
Pompa, will examine the current state of accountability under the No
Child Left Behind Act/ESEA, including the impact of the common
standards movement and Race to the Top activity and their implications
for the law's reauthorization.
- Hon. Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana (invited)
- Paul Vallas, Superintendent, Recovery School District, New Orleans, LA
- Eric Smith, Commissioner, Florida Department of Education
- Rich Wenning, Associate Commissioner, Colorado Department of Education
- Aimee Guidera, Executive Director, Data Quality Campaign
- Judith Moening, Executive Director of Special Education, North East Unified School District, San Antonio, TX
To attend, please RSVP with your name, title, and affiliation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For special accommodations please notify email@example.com by March 30th.
|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 Baton Rouge MAC Meeting:
When: April 14, 2010
4:00 - 6:00 PM
Where: Baton Rouge TBA
Next New Orleans MAC Meeting:
When: April 7, 2010
Where: Warren Easton Senior High
3019 Canal Street
|Education Secretary: "Education is the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time"|
The Huffington Post
March 2, 2010
While health care may be the current hot button topic, President Obama
has made it a point to also prop up another issue. "Week after week,
month after month, he keeps coming back to education," said Education
Secretary Arne Duncan at a reporter's roundtable last week.
"Report Examines Teachers' Views on Education Challenges"
Philanthropy News Digest
March 5, 2010
Teachers in the United States have high expectations for their students
but overwhelmingly agree that too many students are leaving high school
unprepared for success, a new report from Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation finds.
The mission of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is to increase student achievement by supporting, promoting, and advocating for the quality charter school movement.
WHO WE ARE
Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director
Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
|GOOD NEWS! |
|ISL Board Member, Karen Dwyer receives AICPA National
Public Service Award|
Congratulations to Karen, who has been recognized nationally for her efforts in public service, including work with the International School of Louisiana and the new International High School. Read More.
Delhi Charter School Student a a Finalist for Louisiana DOE's Student of the Year Competition
Congratulations to Mary Kate McEacharn an 8the grader at Delhi Charter School for the honor!
The Daily Iberian profiles Glencoe Charter School
The newspaper spoke to school leader Michael Parrie and board member Anita Breaux about the benefits of being a charter school. Read More.
New Orleans College Prep receives national recognition and $52,000 for student achievement gains
NOCP honored by the Effective Practice Incentive Community, and the funds will go to educators at the school. Congratulations and good work!
|Lake Forest Charter named "2010 Louisiana School of Character"|
The charter school in New Orleans was honored by
the LSU AgCenter 4-H Character Development Program. The school has been
given this state recognition for its exemplary character development.
|SAVE THE DATE!|
|3rd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference |
October 15-16, 2010
Hilton Riverside Hotel
Stay tuned for more information.
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!
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