Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Laws and policies governing New Orleans charter facilities and recommendation for best practices and alternative approaches.
Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives
New Orleans has an unprecedented number of charter schools, due in part to efforts to quickly and effectively rebuild the education system after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Pursuant to various Louisiana laws, local school districts provide charter schools with free facilities, typically entering into a lease agreement for each facility. Unfortunately, many of these facilities are in need of costly repairs or renovations. Customarily, charter schools only pay for school operating expenses. Disagreements have arisen, however, about whether certain facility repairs constitute operating expenses to be paid by the Charter or capital expenses to be paid by the school district. As a result of such disagreements, students suffer as improvements are delayed or, in some cases, must be funded from the charter school’s operating budget without any certainty of reimbursement by the school district.