Recently, I wrote that the times may be a changin’ with regards to charter schools and issues of equity.
Charter schools in New Orleans are in many ways at the forefront of this change. They are doing the right thing.
New Schools for New Orleans’s (awesome) new leadership is doing the right thing by investing $3.4 million in New Orleans schools. The goal of this investment is to further build the capacity of educators to serve students with special needs.
What are schools doing with the funds? Some examples below:
- Sci High will strengthen its transition programs for students with special needs entering (8th to 9th grade) and leaving (12th grade) high school through the addition of staff and programming.
- Collegiate Academies will establish two programs to support students with disabilities in post-high school transition: one for college-bound students who need more time to academically and/or socially prepare for post-secondary schooling, and one for 18-21 year old students to learn job and life skills.
- Cohen College Prep High School will hire a transition coordinator to help match students with opportunities for job skills training, internships, and job placement according to their needs.
- Crocker College Prep will create a self-contained special education classroom for students with moderate to severe disabilities focused on different areas of skill development.
The Recovery School District and the Orleans Parish School Board are also doing the right thing.
They created a $1.9 million citywide high needs fund to support schools serving student with exceptionally high needs. This is in addition to the work the Recovery School District has done to overhaul its finance formula to provide more funds to schools serving the hardest to reach students.
The federal government is also doing the right thing. The feds just awarded NSNO $2.4 million to invest in partnerships between human capital providers and CMOs to build the capacity of educators to instruct students with special needs.
There is so far to go in New Orleans.
But I’m constantly impressed by the heart, minds, and souls of New Orleans educators.