NEW ORLEANS —The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools joins families, schools, and communities across the state in celebrating Louisiana Charter Schools Week, May 9-11, 2017. As part of an annual three day gathering at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, LAPCS will shine a spotlight on the state’s growing public charter school movement, which has grown to 145 public charter schools in 25 parishes serving approximately 78,000 students and employing more than 4,000 teachers. Our message this year is simple, “We are public schools.”
A number of educators, families, leaders, and community members who make charter schools possible will gather at the state capitol as the Louisiana Legislature considers several bills vital to the growth and survival of public charter schools throughout the state. Our goal is to make sure lawmakers hear personal testimony on several bills that could impact our public charter school members, including several anti-charter bills. Specifically, public charter schools face two anti-charter school bills: HB 239, Bouie which establishes a charter school moratorium and SB 87, Morrish which reallocates charter school funding to Teacher Retirement System debt, even if a charter school does not participate in that retirement system.
“The level of community and parental involvement charter schools produce is absolutely unparalleled and this celebration will show it. The charter school movement in Louisiana is leading the country and is growing quickly, which means we are offering parents and students more choices than ever before,” said Caroline Roemer, LAPCS Executive Director. “Most importantly, Louisiana’s charter schools are successfully educating a diverse population of students and that is definitely something to commemorate.”
Charter schools are independent public schools of choice that are given operational autonomy in exchange for the strongest performance-based accountability in the state. On average, Louisiana’s charter schools are outperforming the state in closing the achievement gap for African-American students and serve a greater proportion of economically disadvantaged students. Simply put, the core principles by which charter schools operate enable decision-making as close to the needs of students as possible; providing high quality public school options for Louisiana’s families.
The Center for Research on Educational Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low-income, minority students, and English language learners than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center for Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go to college, stay in college, and earn more in early adulthood.
Please join us to learn more about the Louisiana public charter schools from the leaders who run the charter schools and the public school students who attend them, to the families that choose to join the school community and the policymakers who support them.
To arrange an interview with LAPCS Executive Director, Caroline Roemer or any of our charter school advocates and families, please email LAPCS.