Fewer than 30 students lose seats at Orleans Parish conventional schools

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, July 18, 2013

So much ado over so few. Orleans Parish School Board staff said Tuesday that 29 students have lost their seats at its five conventional schools -- 4 percent of the 671 new students who received placements at those schools through the OneApp common enrollment system.

OneApp, run by the Recovery School District, just completed its second year. It lets families list their preferred schools on a single application, and a computer matches children to open seats. Most but not all of the city's schools participate.

But the School Board voted June 18 to set a hard registration deadline of July 8 for new students assigned to the Ben Franklin, Mary Bethune and Mahalia Jackson Elementary schools and McDonogh 35 and McMain High schools. Any students who did not follow up on the OneApp assignment by registering at the schools would lose their spots. School system staff did not specify how schools would fill any empty seats.

That decision kicked up a controversy. The Urban League, the Chamber of Commerce and several education reform groups charged the school system with acting in bad faith and moving away from transparency and fairness in the school enrollment process.

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