Group tries again for charter school in St. Landry
The same nonprofit that tried to open a charter school in Lafayette Parish at N.P. Moss has applied to open a charter school in Opelousas aimed at recruiting high-poverty, at-risk students.
The Outreach Community Development Corporation announces in a press release that it has submitted its application to the St. Landry Parish School Board for JS Clark Leadership Academy, a type 1 charter school that will offer longer school days, technology-heavy teaching and project-based learning methods.
Type 1 charter schools are approved by the school board and receive a portion of the school system’s per pupil funding, which is one reason for the long-standing tensions between charter school applicants and local school boards charged with funding public education.
OCDC was denied a type 1 charter in North Lafayette and also was denied a type 2 charter by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. A type 2 charter gets its per-pupil funding directly from the state and also can tap in to local property and sales tax revenues.
The previous charter application showed strengths in the group’s project-based learning approach and its focus on technology, according to a report in The Advocate, but didn't offer enough details on how the school would accommodate special needs students.
“With over half of the school within the city limits of Opelousas failing and on the Academic Watch list, a choice is very much needed for parents and students who are dissatisfied with the St. Landry Parish School Board and it efforts to educate students in not only a quality facility but with a quality education,” says Tiffanie Lewis, executive director for OCDC. “A charter school provides the flexibility necessary to offer at-risk, high-poverty students a new and innovative way of learning with a highly qualified and loving staff that strongly believes all students are expected to achieve at their highest potential.”
If approved, the JS Clark Academy school year will be about two weeks longer than St. Landry Parish’s school year. The school will begin with fifth through seventh grades and will continue to add grades every year until it reaches 12th grades.
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.