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 22 This post was written the day after the second line shooting in NOLA, by Brentin Mock. Mock is a friend of Deb "Big Red" Cotton, a blogger who was shot in the back and was seriously injured. It is a raw, emotional piece of writing, something the writer obviously felt he needed to get off his chest. But it raises questions that can't be easily dismissed, and might give some insight into where the source of these events truly is.
MAY 22 In this Baton Rouge Business Report post, Rolfe McCollister considers the privatization of bus service in Baton Rouge. After decades of under-funding, it is a mess, and although a tax (partially) passed last year, improvement hasn't happened yet. McCollister apparently feels it is time to let private business get in on the transit business.
MAY 22 This post on Bayou Buzz by Jeff Crouere urges the defeat of a bill that would grant modest pay increases over the next several years to the state's judges and clerks of court. The state is in no position to fund pay hikes, Crouere argues, with the pay increases costing a total of $9 million over several years. It sends the wrong message to the (proverbial) hard-working people of Louisiana, he says.
MAY 22 The Advocate reports here that State Treasurer John Kennedy is complaining about a meeting of the corporation that oversees the state's tobacco settlement. The Governor wanted it restructured, and he has some support, but not a lot. The corporation agreed with his plan, but Kennedy didn't, and it appears that the meeting was noticed in a manner completely different than that of all previous meetings. Kennedy's given to hyperbole, but in this case the fish don't smell too fresh.
MAY 22 In this Advocate story, Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout says the recent federal indictment of a strip club owner is all wrong. The indictment alleges that drugs and prostitution went on with impunity because club staff made arrangements with "local" police. Stout says it never happened, and while his cops do work security in the parking lot, they're not allowed inside.
MAY 22 This amusing post in DIG Baton Rouge recounts an ad that ran on Craig's List recently; the advertiser was seeking tenants for a Beauregard Town house. He knew his market, and wrote an ad that the most ironical hipster couldn't resist. Apparently, he really did know his market, because the ad worked like a charm.
MAY 22 In this post in The Lens, Mark Moseley comments on the rhetoric Gov. Jindal employed in trying to save his tax "reform" package. One interesting point concerns Jindal's use of his brother, Nikesh, in a little story. Nikesh left Louisiana because of his inability to get a decent job, the story goes, but the story won't hold water: Nikesh lives in DC, which has an income tax level comparable to Louisiana, Moseley says. If income taxes caused the dismal situation, it should exist in DC too. Right?
MAY 22 This post by columnist John Maginnis traces the trajectory of the bill that would fund construction at community and technical colleges -- and bypass the Board of Regents and traditional higher ed funding mechanisms. Sure, it will bust the legislature's self-imposed debt limit, but some leges feel that there's more need (because there is more growth) in the community and technical college area than in the university area, he says.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
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.