Friday, January 20, 2012

Facts on the Ground II

Karran Harper Royal:

I’ve been in so many meetings day and night with various community groups fighting off Recovery School District Superintendent John White and charter school vultures.

Several local communities have applied for and have been denied charters for their community schools. This process began shortly after Hurricane Katrina, when several of us attempted to be part of the reforms coming to our city with the state takeover of our the majority of our schools. For years, myself included, we were kept busy serving on steering committees to help our schools. Initially, we were promised that these schools would be community-driven schools and we did not have to charter them.

Former RSD superintendent Paul Vallas promised me and my community this over and over when we pressed him to comply with what was written in the Walton Family Foundation grant he received for supporting our community’s schools. We were told that if we wanted that type of power in the school we had to apply for a charter for the school. The Recovery School District received 6 million dollars from the Walton Family Foundation to help us plan and drive what happens at our schools. The RSD squandered the money on their consultants and many of us are still shut out of the process.

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