MAY 2014 NEWSLETTER

We hope this newsletter finds you well and that this school year is wrapping up smoothly. We have enjoyed supporting your schools this year and are excited about what's to come next year! 

Please save a spot in your budget for us! You will receive your 2014-15 LAPCS membership invoice in the coming weeks. As a reminder, membership dues are calculated based on the 2/1/14 student enrollment figures submitted to the LDE. If you have questions about membership or dues, please contact our Membership Director, Simone Green.

Best,
The LAPCS Team
Legislative Update

LAPCS is committed to keeping its membership "in the know" regarding the 2014 Legislative Session. Legislators recently considered three bills that could have adversely affected charter schools: 

 

HB 37 would have required all public schools, including charter schools not in the state retirement system, to pay towards the teacher retirement system's debts, costing charter schools hundreds of dollars per student. LAPCS helped kill this bill in committee. 

 

HB 703 would have prohibited the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from authorizing charter schools under certain circumstances. This bill was deferred and is now dead. 

 

SB 666 would have prohibited charter schools from accessing certain local funds. This bill was amended to reflect current law and is now a "shell" bill.

 

Stay tuned to LAPCS for any information on Capitol happenings that could impact your schools. If you have questions or concerns, please contact our Policy Director, Veronica Brooks
Budget Law/PSA Reminder
As you are finalizing your FY 2014-15 operating budgets, this is just a friendly reminder that you must follow special rules (La. R.S. 39: 1301-1215). In order to approve your operating budget:

(i) The budget must be completed and made available 15 days prior to the date the budget is adopted; (ii) There must be at least 1 meeting before the meeting at which the board votes to adopt the budget; (iii) There must be at least 10 days published notice before the first meeting at which the budget is discussed; and (iv) You must publish a certificate of completion of process after the budget is submitted. See the Budgeting FAQ document for more details and specific references to the law.
The Top Shelf
Season 4 of The Top Shelf recently concluded and 83% of participants agreed their knowledge of charter school board service increased.  During the ten sessions, which ranged from succession planning to CEO evaluation, 20 charter schools statewide participated.  Additionally, The Top Shelf established partnerships with Regions, Harrah's, Isidore Newman School and 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans to increase recruitment efforts to the Board Bank. Have questions about The Top Shelf? Contact our Governance Initiatives Director, Makiyah Moody.
The Bottom Line
The Bottom Line just concluded its first season of 2014, covering such topics as school safety, benefits for disabled students, food services, and understanding the EEOC complaint process. The next season will kick off later this summer with a heavy focus on employee policies and mastering your school's finances. If you have questions about The Bottom Line, contact our Legal Director, Sarah Vandergriff, or our Director of Membership and School Development, Simone Green.
Partner Connection Spot
We understand how busy you are and realize your time is valuable. We are focused on finding service providers to assist you with your operational needs and are developing an extensive collection of partners to provide you with quality service so you may concentrate on ensuring your school's success. 

Each month, we will spotlight a service provider that can assist you. This month, we are spotlighting Red Hawk Fire & Security.

Any fire/security company can identify threats, but it takes someone with experience to create, install, and maintain the right solutions. At Red Hawk, our team of experts puts the power of experience to work so our clients are never unprepared. More than 50,000 customers across the country choose Red Hawk. 
 
Check out our entire list of partners by visiting our website. Don't see something you're searching for? Help us pick the partners you desire by completing a short feedback survey.
Featured School: KIPP New Orleans
Each month, LAPCS will feature a different school (or school system) and share highlights, milestones, and good news for that school. We're starting with KIPP New Orleans, but would love to feature your school in the coming months! E-mail us and let us share your good news!

KIPP Teacher Finalist for Fishman Prize
Central City Academy teacher Jonathan Johnson is one of six finalists for the 2014 Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice. Winners receive $25,000 and participate in a summer residency program. Congratulations, Jonathan!



KIPP New Orleans Milestones

KIPP Renaissance High School celebrated its first-ever graduation on Friday, May 23rd at the UNO Lakefront Arena. The class of 2014 has earned over $3.5 million in scholarships and earned acceptances to over 60 different colleges and universities.  

 

KIPP New Orleans Schools is opening its 10th school this summer. KIPP East Community Primary, the newest KIPP school, will open to serve a class of 100 Kindergarten students from New Orleans East and Gentilly. KIPP New Orleans Schools has grown from a single school with a K-12 system with 10 schools that serves over 4200 students.

News from Our Education Partners
EPFP Fellowship
The Louisiana Education Policy Fellowship (EPFP) Program is a 10-month professional development program sponsored by the Orleans Public Education Network (OPEN), the Institute of Educational Leadership (IEL), and several organizational partners here in Louisiana. EPFP invites interested individuals to learn more about the program at their website. The application deadline is August 15.

Professional Development for High School Teachers
The Cowen Institute for Education Initiatives presents Umoja University, a professional development opportunity for high school teachers, on Friday, June 27th. Click to learn more about the program and register.

Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium 
Louisiana Dream Teachers presents the 8th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium on Saturday, July 12 at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge. Educators from across Louisiana will gather for a keynote from New York Times bestselling author and educator Ron Clark, professional development opportunities, and an awards ceremony honoring the top educators in our state. For more information and to register, visit their website.
Educating Louisiana
Learn more about the state of education in Louisiana as LAPCS Policy Director Veronica Brooks interviews education newsmakers. Catch Educating Louisiana  every week on Cox Channel 4 in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lafayette.
 
Upcoming Episodes:
 
May 29
Denny Bond
Dream Teachers
Adrian Morgan
Algiers Charter 
School Association
 
June 5
Colonel William Davis
New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy
Jamey Firnberg
Dream Teachers

June 12
Judge Ulysses Thibodeax
Lake Charles Charter Schools
Jay Altman
FirstLine Schools

June 19
Dujan Johnson
The Community School for Apprenticeship Learning
Erica McConduit
Urban League
 
Missed an episode? View past shows on our Vimeo page!
 
LAPCS 7th Annual Conference
7th Inning Stretch:
Charters, Choice, Change
Join us on October 21st at the Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge for our 7th Annual Conference!
 
opens on June 2!
 
Questions?
Contact Nikki Chatelain
Special Projects Manager.
 
Interested in exhibiting 
at the Conference?
Contact Donyell McGlathery, Director of Vendor Membership and Strategic Partnerships.
 
Reach hundreds of charter school decision makers by becoming a conference sponsor! Contact Toryah Cameron
Director of Development!
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Masthead photo credit: FirstLine Schools/Maile Lani Photography


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