LWV of Louisiana adopts charter school polic
At its state convention in January 2019, The League of Women Voters of Louisiana voted to adopt a set of policies on charter schools in Louisiana. (attached) The Louisiana League is one of only eight Leagues nationwide to adopt a comprehensive policy on charter schools.
In March of 2017, the League of Women Voters of Louisiana called for an examination and consensus policy on charter schools in Louisiana. To reach consensus the League established a committee to conduct an extensive review and examination of charter school policies. The committee then prepared consensus questions and solicited consensus responses from local leagues to develop a draft policy based on all responses. A copy of the final policy is attached.
“The League recognizes that charter schools in Louisiana serve the school choice movement in significant ways. We felt it was time for the organization to produce a careful examination of charter school law and activity in Louisiana and create a consensus policy so that we can advocate at the local and state levels,” explains Kathleen Schott Espinoza, chair of the League study committee.
The scope of the policy includes governance, finance, and accessibility and equity. The League identifies the following as areas of concern:
· the rapid growth of charter schools in Louisiana,
· additional costs to the state and the larger role of state government in local affairs,
· more complex layers of regulation and paths for oversight,
· the creation of competition for resources between charter schools and traditional public school systems,
· effects of market-based charter schools and for-profit management companies,
· barriers of class and race that segregate children by where they live and where guardians work.
It is the League’s contention that the interests of the public, the charter schools, and their boards are best served when internal and external oversight is increased, not decreased, and effective oversight is provided by both the authorizer and the Louisiana legislature.
League generated study documents and a guide to charter schools in Louisiana are available on the state League’s website at www.lwvofla.org.
Since 1920, the League of Women Voters has worked to educate and inform voters. It is non-partisan and non-profit, does not endorse or support candidates or parties, and is open to both women and men from the age of 17. The League encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.