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School considers leaving retirement system

McDonogh City Park Academy reported it had 446 students enrolled as of Oct. 1. The report came at a meeting of the school’s board of directors Wednesday

At that same meeting, the board discussed moving from the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana. The Academy’s charter is up for renewal in December and the board must make the decision if its wants to stay with the TRSL or move towards a 403(b) plan, which is like a 401(k) plan for government employees.

The main concern with TRSL is the cost associated with that system. MCPA currently pays 27.2 percent of an employee’s salary towards TRSL, costing the budget $544,000. By switching to the 403(b) plan, MCPA could save roughly $250,000.

The issue with switching from TRSL to a 403(b) plan is that it will affect each individual employee differently depending on how long they have participated in the retirement system.

The board did not make a decision on whether to leave TRSL. The board may vote at its  Nov. 19 meeting or will call a special meeting if the deadline is before then.

Monica Candal, board member, discussed the strategic plan and some concerns that were voiced in a survey given to parents, teachers and administration.

According to the survey, MCPA needs a stronger professional development program to keep its best teachers, additional extracurricular activities, updated library and technology and a plan for long-term financial stability.

The board voted to extend offers to two additional board members – Jason Hughes, governmental affairs director for Stand for Children Louisiana and Travis Chase, senior officer at Dillard University.

The board also voted to create a position for a grant writer. The administration will be in charge of hiring the new employee.

The meeting lasted approximately an hour and forty-five minutes. Board members Nelson, Candal, Emily Waterfield, Michael Plemer, Mike Bagot, Laura Charbonnet,and Mary Kay Parker were present. Four members of the administration, the school’s attorney and 12 members of the public also were present.

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  • nickelndime

    Seriously! – a grant writer (hired by administration), and this MCPA nonprofit board is considering dropping TRSL participation!!! A short term savings of $250,000 (WOW), and this board will wipe out one of the points that draws and retains certified, vested, experienced, knowledgeable teaching professionals. Another fine example of well-meaning, good-intentioned individuals who sit on these nonprofit boards and pave the way to hell. Where is your mouth, Christine? And, how long do you think you will last if you let this board go to hell in a handbag and don’t stop sugarcoating the facts?