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Optional retirement program approved for teachers and staff; Karr and Harte remain in fold

Trustees of the Algiers Charter School Association have approved the Hartman Group as provider of the optional 403(b) retirement program for school employees.

The approval, at the board’s monthly meeting, April 26,  followed a state attorney general’s opinion earlier in the week that the Louisiana Constitution precludes charter schools from leaving the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana. The retirement system had asked the attorney general’s office to comment after teachers raised concerns over the security of their retirement funds.

“In light of the attorney general’s opinion, we will approve a provider just as an option for those at ACSA. Those who wish to stay with TRSL can do that,” trustee Mark McNamara said.

Several providers had given presentations to the board.

The board also approved an agreement with the Orleans Parish School Board, allowing the association to continue running Edna Karr High School and Alice M. Harte Charter School through June 30, 2013.

The board approved the contract after making a few small changes, including a stipulation that any hiring or firing decisions regarding assistant principals be made by the school’s principal – not a representative of the parish school board. There was also a minor change to the start date of the school management agreement. The contract is effective as of March 27.

The board announced that it would interview seven prospective new members in the week ahead.

The meeting ended with an executive session to discuss personnel issues. About three dozen members of the public, including many of of the association’s teachers and principals were present.

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