Louisiana district to consider first turn-around charter school

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jefferson Parish public school officials are poised to approve a contract for their first turn-around charter school. The School Board on Wednesday will consider giving the national Celerity Educational Group of Los Angeles a charter to run the chronically low-performing Woodmere Elementary in Harvey.

Jefferson already has four charters, each with a special focus. Woodmere would be the first conventional school handed to a charter operator after a sustained effort by the school system failed to make significant improvements, Superintendent James Meza said Monday.

The move has been tinged with controversy, with board member Cedric Floyd leading much of it. Floyd first blasted Meza's office for not crafting a contract with the Celerity, then argued the legality of that contract. Last summer, Floyd was the lone dissenter in the board's 8-1 vote to approve Celerity as an operator, before officials chose Woodmere as its conversion school.

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