Message from the Executive Director March 2017

Well, it's that time of the year again. Legislative session. April 10 will kick off the 2017 Regular Session and LAPCS will be at the Capitol. We expect much of the focus to continue to be on the State's budget woes, but we certainly will track any legislation that will impact public schools, including the MFP resolution. Get the very latest during the session. Click on "Legislative Updates Now" button   → → →
Charter School Week will be in May and more information will be coming to your email box soon. Our goal this year is to turn out someone from every single charter school in the state. We packed both the House and Senate Education Committees last session, providing effective and high impact testimony on a variety of bills. You may RSVP HERE for Louisiana Charter Schools Week at the Capitol.
BESE meets Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Their agenda includes a required report on the At-Risk students and students with disabilities percentages for charter schools across the state. LaCAN, a Special Education advocates organization have put out a call to action to their community calling for people to let BESE members know that they want action taken against charters not meeting the law. You can see that Report on School Performance here. LAPCS encourages you to message to your BESE member about your school and the work you're doing to ensure that all students have access to your school and more importantly, have access to the programs they need. BESE email addresses are here.  
Finally, you can expect lots more discussion on the LDE report for the House and Senate Education Committees on student fees.  We anticipate based on the findings of that report BESE an/or the state legislature will ask all schools to adopt reasonable policies regarding student fees for classes, materials, extracurricular activities and school trips. 
Caroline Roemer
Executive Director
TYPE 2 | MFP  LAWSUIT
UPDATE:
We are now past the immediate threat to MFP funding; however, the court fights continue over public funding for Type 2 charter schools. While the First Circuit Court of Appeals narrowly ruled 3-2 against the public funding for the Type 2 charter schools, a stay was issued that continues the flow of MFP funds to all Type 2 charter schools. The appellate court erroneously concluded that these charter schools are ineligible to receive state public school dollars under the Louisiana Constitution because they are not part of ‘city or parish school systems.’  Plaintiffs have filed a motion for rehearing with the First Circuit Court of Appeals on the limited issue of damages while we have filed a writ with the State Supreme Court seeking review. This is going to be a long process between the appellate and the Supreme Court. There is no simple solution here, but it is a process that we must see to the end. 

ESSA UPDATE: The Louisiana Department of Education has posted for public comment an updated framework of the state's accountability plan for schools and students. The new framework, which complies with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), details possible changes in the state's method for rating school performance and outlines the annual process local school systems will complete in applying for federal funding. The updated framework is available on the LDE Website. The public is invited to submit further feedback until the end of March. The Department will submit its final plan to the federal government on April 3
 Email the Department at essalouisiana@la.gov


Tornado Damage at Two New Orleans Charter Schools Estimated at $1.7 Million
Two New Orleans public school campuses will need about $1.7 million in repairs after they were damaged by an EF3 Tornado which hit while students were at school. It was the largest tornado ever recorded in the city. Luckily, there were no injuries.  

ReNEW Schaumburg took a direct hit. Initial estimates indicate the school sustained about $1.5 million worth of damage. More than two dozen students were displaced from their homes. Students returned to class in a temporary facility at the nearby Gaudet campus, where they will complete the 2017 school year.  

At Einstein Charter damage totaled $200,000; mostly due to electrical and fence damage. Collegiate Academies’ Abramson Sci Academies had no damage, but twelve students from the school were displaced from their homes. Click on the links above to donate to the tornado relief funds. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

March 24: Lawyers Serving on Non-Profit and Charter School Boards
March 24:  CLE for Lawyers Serving on Non-Profit & Charter School Boards
ESSA LISTENING TOUR 2.0
Legislative Updates Now
FEATURED JOB OPPORTUNITIES

New Schools For Baton Rouge seeks a manager of donor engagement and operations to support its fundraising strategy for the $50 million Excellence Fund II. Learn more →
The NET Charter High School is opening a second location and has new job openings. The NET2 will open in August 2017 on the UNO Campus. Read More →
IDEA Public Schools is looking for a Vice President of Schools (VP) to manage a portfolio of schools, principals, and initiatives that impact the education of scholars and future graduates. The VP is responsible for the superior academic performance of schools. Read more →
EMAIL A JOB POST
TAKE ACTION NOW!
   AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
2017 CityBusiness Leadership in Law
Sarah Vandergriff has just been named to New Orleans' City Business Magazine's Top 50 outstanding legal professionals. Sarah was recognized for her contributions to the community and for setting the pace for the legal community. As many of our members know, Sarah, our Legal & Policy Director, works tirelessly for LAPCS, our charter school members and partners. Leadership in Law recognizes 50 area legal professionals in four categories: firm associated, court associated, in-house counsel and educators. An event will be held to celebrate this year’s winners on May 22. Prior to joining LAPCS, she worked for the law firm Phelps Dunbar, LLP in the commercial litigation section.

About LAPCS
The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is a membership organization that serves as a voice for charter schools in Louisiana. We work in partnership with charter schools and community supporters to support, promote, and advocate for high quality charter schools that provide educational choice to families statewide. Learn more about us and get involved.
lacharterschools.org | info@lacharterschools.org
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