Monroe City Schools Policy Committee Moves Forward on Charter School Policy

The Monroe City School Board's policy committee considered a charter school policy, but not without a local charter school director speaking out.
MONROE -- The Monroe City School Board Policy Committee continued to discuss charter school policy on Monday, but not without a local charter school director speaking out.

Click the link above to read the MCSB charter school policy.

On Monday, MCSB presented their 16-page charter school draft.

"She's brought a policy to us that mirrors the state image for charters," said Superintendent Dr. Brent Vidrine, after board Vicki Krutzer presented it during the meeting.

The draft, which the board has been working on for a year, is adopted from the state's own policy.

"We believe that's where we need to be as a district, I don't think we have our own policies and procedures, when the state has adopted them for what charters are required to have," said Vidrine.

Reverend Roosevelt Wright is executive director of the Excellence Academy charter school, which is in the middle of it's first year at Washington Street in Monroe.

He says it's a good thing the policy is based on state law, but, "we just need them to develop a policy that deals with the monroe city school system as it relates to state policy."

Wright says the policy shows examples taken from schools in New Orleans, and he wants to see a more localized policy.

"Generally the contract is, somebody took it off the state website and didn't even bother to change some of the names and they're going to adopt it just like it is, without making any specifics to the local area," said Wright.

Board members say this is just a template for the policy. Wright says he also feels like the school district's policy is too broad.

"Right now, the committee just approved a blanket that doesn't say anything," he said during the meeting. "You can't give them broad things, that's what i'm saying, the policy is too general, you specifically need to say, 'this is what we're looking for.'"

Supt. Vidrine says it's difficult to answer every specific question in the policy.

"It addresses pretty much everything, in a broad way," he said.

Rev. Wright also says he wants more specifics on how they plan to evaluate the schools.

"We simply think they should include and develop an evaluation process and inject that into the general policy before  it's presented to the board," he said. Excellence Academy's contract was approved when there wasn't a policy in place by the school district for charter schools.

"I'm going to have to agree that the evaluation needs to be attached to the policy, in some way or procedure, because they do need to know and we need to know," said Krutzer during the meeting.

The policy committee has decided to keep their policy as is, but with respect to Wright's request on evaluating schools, an attachment will be made on the timeline of evaluating charter schools.

"Right now, we think it's kind of premature, the committee has said that they will have the superintendent to do that, and we're satisfied with that," said Wright.

The committee also looked over Excellence Academy's contract.

"So we're working with what's already approved by the school board," said Vidrine. Krutzer said during the meeting that the contract follows their procedures.

The school board's last meeting before Christmas break is set for Tuesday night.
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