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Action Alert!!! - Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Action Alert!


Lift Caps on Charter Schools


            Creation of an unlimited number of Charter Schools was reported to BESE, by Paul Pastorek, to be a necessary ingredient to being a serious contender for the federal competitive race to the future grant under the stimulus passage.


            The State Superintendent indicated that he had been in discussions with legislators about finding a way to introduce legislation that would remove the 75 charter school cap during this session.  He suggested that Arnie Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, had given indication that such a legal step would be necessary to be a serious contender for the grant.


            The 2010-2011 budget contains an increase in appropriation for a contract with the national association of charter school authorizers to review at least 17 new applications during the coming year.


            How many charter schools does Mr. Pastorek envision operating in Louisiana?  How many charters are necessary to fulfill the role of incubators for 21st Century school models?  More importantly, how long should it take to prove that the incubator is successful and ready to be transferred to traditional schools?


            No member of BESE or of the education community, apart from Mr. Pastorek, has been advised that such legislation is mandated in order to quality for the big grant.  Might there be another motivation and should legislatorís not demand more proof than has been presented?


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