School Choice & Charters

Louisiana Governor Signs Bill Reunifying New Orleans’ School System

By Arianna Prothero — May 12, 2016 1 min read

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed a bill Thursday afternoon to return all of New Orleans schools to the oversight of the local Orleans Parish School Board.

The state has been overseeing the majority of New Orleans’ schools—most of which are now charter schools—for over a decade.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, lawmakers put most of city’s schools into the state-run Recovery School District, which manages school turnaround efforts across Louisiana.

The state currently supervises 52 charter schools, while the Orleans Parish School Board oversees 18 charters and six district schools.

Many state legislators representing New Orleans supported the bill.

“It’s a remarkable feat to have that many members, especially of the New Orleans delegation, to come together to sponsor a bill,” Edwards said during the signing ceremony. “I am very pleased to sign the bill.”

However, the Orleans Parish School Board will be overseeing a system vastly different from the one it ran pre-Katrina, and there are concerns that the district may not be ready to assume this new role. For more on why, and other reaction from New Orleans educators and activists, read the full story I wrote on the plan to reunify the city’s schools, here.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.