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.
2010 Regular Legislative Session
Week 5: April 26 - 30
As compared to last week, it was a fairly quiet week at the
legislature for charter schools with only two bills being heard in committees
that would have direct impacts on your school.
HB 1033 (Rep. Frank
Hoffman - Monroe)
Provides relative to evaluation and assessment for teachers and administrators.
Click here to read HB 1033.
This is the Governor's Value Added legislation. The bill was
debated for more than 2 hours with
testimony in support of the legislation from a broad spectrum of special
interest groups that included educators both from traditional public schools
and some charter schools; the Louisiana Association of Business Industry; CABL;
Association of Professional Educators of Louisiana; Black Alliance for
Educational Options, and a few local school district superintendents including
BESE member and DeSoto Parish Superintendent Walter Lee and Superintendent Gary
Jones of Rapides Parish.
Opponents to the bill included members of the Louisiana
School Board Association and the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE).
The bill ultimately passed out of the House Education Committee with
no opposition and is waiting to be heard on the floor perhaps sometime next week.
Following is a summary of the amendment specific to charter
schools. I hope you will take time to
review HB 1033 and let us know about your concerns as we will continue to track
Present law permits charter school governing
authorities to determine if the charter school faculty and staff will
participate in any state-required assessment and evaluation program. Provides
relative to teacher certification requirements for charter schools that do not participate
in present law teacher assistance and assessment program.
Proposed law instead requires each charter school
governing authority to annually evaluate every teacher at the school. Further
provides that by the 2012-2013 school year, 50% of each teacher evaluation
shall be based on evidence of growth in student achievement using a value-added
assessment model as determined by BESE for which value-added data is available.
Requires BESE to establish measures of student growth for grades and subjects for
which value-added data is not available and to adopt a policy to invalidate
such student growth data for any teacher for temporary school closures due to
natural disaster or any other unexpected events. Provides that the model shall
take into account special education, eligibility for free or reduced price
meals, student attendance, and student discipline. Permits the state
superintendent of education to make such school-level data available to the
public for conducting statistical analyses.
SB 240 (Sen. Ed Murray - New Orleans) Allows the Orleans Parish School
Board to exclude certain costs from the amount of local funds that it would
otherwise be required to transfer to the RSD. Click here to read SB 240 (please also read amendments for the fullest understanding of the bill).
SB 240 would allow for Orleans Parish School Board to
withhold a portion of the voter approved millage for certain legacy costs
across ALL public school students. The millage, which was recently rolled
forward by OPSB, is anticipated to generate an additional $12 million dollars
in local revenues.
Originally, OPSB was seeking to withhold $9 million of
the $12 million. However, after some very collaborative meetings that included
a broad representation of public education stakeholders, including
representatives from the LAPCS, the bill was amended to allow for the lesser
amount of $6 million.
The bill is extremely prescriptive and includes dollars
for the following: workers compensation claims prior to August 25, 2005; legal
claims directly associated with Hurricane Katrina; retiree insurance; and the
cost of borrowing to allow for forward funding of the MFP to all public
This bill passed favorably on the Senate Floor and now will be heard by the House.
CALL TO ACTION
SB 694 (Sen. Butch Gautreaux - Thibodaux) Mandates
participation of all charter schools into the Teacher Retirement System of
Louisiana (TRSL). Click here to read SB 694.
On Monday, May 10th, the Senate
Retirement Committee will be hearing SB 694 that mandates all charter schools
participate in the Teacher Retirement System of LA (TRSL). While many charter
schools do participate in TRSL, this bill is yet another threat to charter
schools' autonomy to make decisions that best meet the needs of their students
We are asking that you please take 5 minutes to send a message to Senate
Retirement Committee members regarding this bill. We have created a
message for your convenience, but feel free to edit to your liking.
CLICK HERE TO EMAIL THE SENATE RETIREMENT COMMITTEE
Additionally, if any of you would like to come to the committee hearing on
Monday please let us know. We are seeking individuals
that would be willing to speak to legislators prior to committee or that would
be willing to testify against the bill during committee.
Also included for you is the study by The Pelican Institute that came out this
week regarding charter schools and TRSL that perfectly lays out the problem
with this legislation. Click HERE to view the study.
This bill was defeated last year in House Retirement but continues to be
brought to the table by the teachers' union.
Expected in Committee
HB 420 (Rep. Walt Leger - New Orleans) Relative 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. Click here to read HB 420.
This bill was heard
in House Education Committee on Wednesday, May 6th, and passed favorably. The bill is now waiting to be heard on the floor. The Association has been working closely with the LDE's Finance
Department on this legislation, including facilitating two conference calls for
charter schools to hear a presentation by the LDE and for questions to be posed
to the staff.
If you have any
questions, please contact Renita Thukral
on our staff at email@example.com
or at 504-274-3644.
HB 1128 (Rep.
Walt Leger - New Orleans) Establishes
certain requirements for BESE and local school boards relative to charter
schools including that BESE shall develop a model compliance plan for providing
special education and related services in charter schools. Specifically, proposed requirements for
charter schools include:
proposed charter must provide a plan for meeting the needs of students with
plan to educate parents on their educational rights under state and federal
Include research-based discipline programs, such as positive behavioral
interventions and supports, as provided in present law.
Include a plan for collecting data for the compilation of progress profiles.
Click here to read HB 1128.
The Association has been
working with charter school leaders and SpEd Coordinators through our SpEd
Cooperative to address this legislation. We have had several meetings with Rep.
Leger and the proponents of this bill (primarily the Southern Poverty Law
Center) in an attempt to find common ground and create law/policy that protects
the rights of students and parents while not being duplicative or creating laws
more onerous than those faced by traditional districts.
This bill had been
slated to run earlier this week but Rep. Leger pulled the bill for further
discussions. We continue to work with him on this legislation and will keep you
There are other bills
that we are tracking but, to date, they have not appeared on any committee
As always, if you have
any questions or thoughts around any legislation just give us a call at
504-274-3651 or email us.
|Fordham Institute Report on Charter School Autonomy|
This Fordham Institute study finds that the typical charter school in America today lacks the autonomy it needs to succeed, once state, authorizer, and other impositions are considered. Though the average state earns an encouraging B+ for the freedom its charter law confers upon schools, individual state grades in this sphere range from A to F. Authorizer contracts add another layer of restrictions that, on average, drop schools' autonomy grade to B-. (Federal policy and other state and local statutes likely push it down further.) School districts are particularly restrictive authorizers. The study was conducted by Public Impact.
In the study, Louisiana state charter law received a B- for Type 2 charter school autonomy and a B for Type 5 charter school autonomy. Individual school autonomy actualizes into a B- for Type 2 schools and a D for Type 5 schools. To see the breakdowns for each category of autonomy, please see the full report.
Click HERE to access the entire report.
|Charter 1st Fridays at Einstein Charter School & Crestworth Learning Academy|
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 takes place on the first Friday of every month.
In March, Einstein Charter School in New Orleans and Crestworth Learning Academy is Baton Rouge opened their doors to the public.
The first Friday of every school 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 May 7, 2010, Martin Behrman Charter School will be open in New Orleans, and Point Coupee Central High School will be open in Morganza, LA.
If you are interested in participating in the Charter First Fridays program next Fall, please contact Elizabeth Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org
|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.
| REACHING ALL LEARNERS|
An Introduction to Apple Technologies
In one day, charter school education leaders will get hands-on experience with tools that help meet diverse learning needs.
You're invited to Reaching All Learners, a one-day immersion in the Apple technologies that help students achieve and thrive in school while building the skills they'll need to succeed in the workforce. At this event, you will:
· Experience a digital learning environment that serves all students, including those with special education, language, and literacy needs.
· Learn how Apple helps you support multiple learning styles, enhance collaboration and creativity, and extend learning beyond the classroom.
· Try your hand at digital content creation tools that engage students and give them the power to share their knowledge with a wide audience.
Date: May 13, 2010
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: New Orleans, LA
Dress: Business Casual
Registration Please go to the following URL for more information and to register all participants.
8:30 a.m. Registration and coffee
9:00 a.m. Opening Session
9:35 a.m. Teaching Tools for Reaching All Learners
10:35 a.m. Content Creation for Student Use
11:00 a.m. Anytime Learning and Enhancing Collaboration
11:45 a.m. Lunch (provided)
12:30 p.m. 21st-Century Creativity and Communication
2:00 p.m. Closing Session: Moving Forward
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
LA Special Education Cooperative
"The Enrollment of Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools"
Kevin J. Guitterrez
Louisiana Recovery School District
Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools
200 Broadway St. Ste. 108 Conference Room
New Orleans, LA 70118
Thursday May 6, 2010
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
(Coop Member Board Meeting immediately following)
Please RSVP to Beth Giovannetti @ email@example.com ASAP as space is limited
LA Special Education Cooperative
"2nd Annual Education Provider Fair"
May 18, 2010
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Early Childhood & Family Learning Foundation
The Mahalia Jackson Center
2405 Jackson Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
Free to all Cooperative member charter schools
$25 fee for non-member charter schools
$35 fee per individual provider
$75 fee per provider organization
Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with education providers
from across the city and state that are interested in partnering with charter
schools to build strong programs for students with disabilities.
Providers presenting at the event include:
Organizations providing support for reading, behavior and emotional problems
related to learning
Please join us to take advantage of a variety of service
delivery options and prepare your programs for SY 10/11!!
Please RSVP and direct
questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
|"Why Freer Schools Are Better Schools"
The Wall Street Journal
March 25, 2010
The charter school movement is succeeding because
it liberates teachers and principals from rules and regulations and
holds them accountable for results.
"Empowering families in education: A guest column by Andre Perry"
The Times Picayune
April 2, 2010
Two education events held last week displayed a generational divide
between organizations and activists who serve black communities. Parent
participation at the Urban League of Greater New Orleans Schools Expo
contrasted mightily with participation at a meeting of the Board of
Elementary and Secondary Education's Recovery School District oversight
"Why Good Teachers Matter for Low Income Students"
The Washington Post
April 9, 2010
In the debate over how to fix American public education, many believe
that schools alone cannot overcome the impact that economic
disadvantage has on a child, that life outcomes are fixed by poverty
and family circumstances, and that education doesn't work until other
problems are solved.
"Should Kids Be Bribed to Do Well in School?"
April 8, 2010
In junior high school, one of my
classmates had a TV addiction - back before it was normal. This boy -
we'll call him Ethan - was an encyclopedia of vacuous content, from The A-Team to Who's the Boss?
"A Tale of Two Cities' School Systems"
April 8, 2010
The schools in New Orleans were
once considered among the worst in the country. Then Hurricane Katrina
tore through, and the school system was rebuilt. It's now considered a
laboratory for urban education reform.
Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett and Jennifer Guerra have this look at what Detroit might learn from the Big Easy.
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! |
|Hynes Charter School Teacher a finalist for Shell Science Teaching Award|
Congratulations to WendyDeMers, a science teacher at Hynes Charter School!
Lusher Charter School Student wins "Letters about Literature" competition
Congratulations to Addison Howenstine, an 11th grader, for not only winning the Louisiana division of the competition, but making the top 15 in the country!
|SAVE THE DATE!|
|3rd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference |
October 15-16, 2010
Hilton Riverside Hotel
Interested in exhibiting at the conference? Click HERE for more information.
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
|BECOME A FAN ON|
|Click HERE to become a fan of the LAPCS Facebook Page!|