Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has become the top spot for the charter school movement. Ten years later, how is it working? Other southern states such as Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida have adopted the education alternative as well. This week, the Southern Education Desk travels to some of those states to see how the movement is progressing across the Gulf South.
States across the U-S have increasingly been turning to charter schools in an effort to bolster struggling public school systems. Two of the most recent states to adopt the controversial form of education are Mississippi and Alabama. As part of a Southern Education Desk Series examining charter schools in the South, we turn to Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Boger for a report on how those states are adopting to the alternative form of public education.
Florida has about 650 charter schools. They are part of school districts but are privately managed and largely free of many of the rules governing traditional public schools. But as enrollment in charters has increased, so has the financial cost. WFSU’s Lynn Hatter reports for the Southern Education Desk that Tennessee and Georgia are also struggling to find ways to support their charter schools.
The big push for charter schools in Louisiana started after Hurricane Katrina. The state’s Recovery School District took over most of the public schools in New Orleans, and quickly issued charters. The organization has moved on to Baton Rouge, but, without a hurricane scattering teachers and students, charters really have to get parents to buy into the alternative they’re selling.
Charter schools are changing American education. Some say for the better, some say the worse. This week the Southern Education Desk looks at the charter school movement throughout the south. We start in New Orleans, the testing ground for the movement.