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McDonogh City Park pondering jump out of retirement system

McDonogh City Park Academy’s board of directors still hasn’t decided if it will move its teachers from the state-run Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana.

If it left TRSL, the school would move its teachers to 403(b) accounts, which are tax-sheltered accounts for government employees similar to 401(k) accounts in the private sector.

The school’s charter is up for renewal at the end of December, but the board hasn’t decided whether it will join a charter-management organization for the 2015-2016 school year or stay as a standalone school.

The decision on joining a CMO probably will determine if the school will continue with TRSL or move towards the 403(b) accounts.

At a meeting Tuesday, the school’s board was told the school actually had 447, not 446, students, enrolled as of Oct. 1. That number has since dropped to 444 students, but the Oct. 1 number is what the state’s per-pupil funding is based on.

MCPA was chosen to pilot online testing with its 5th graders for the Common Core testing in March 2014. Board members agreed that the school has enough computers and wireless capabilities for the pilot program, but is worried that the school will not have the technological capacity for the 2014-2015 school year when the entire school is tested.

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers suggests that schools have 5 studenta to a computer and a back-up internet provider in case service goes out during testing. McDonogh City Park Academy  currently has about 90 computers for its population. Currently the E-Rate Program, a discounted telecommunications service, pays for 90 percent of MCPA’s internet provider – Cox Communications.

The meeting lasted approximately 90 minutes. New board member Jason Hughes, governmental affairs director for Stand for Children Louisiana, was introduced to the board.

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  • nickelndime

    I am into naming names tonight. Principal/CEO Christine Mitchell should stand up for veteran, credentialed (that’s TRSL) teachers, who really make the difference in academic achievement, i.e., student learning. Mitchell was fast-tracked by former OPSB Superintendent, Anthony “Tony” Amato [Remember him? He was and is a State/BESE favorite (hello Paul Pastorek and Leslie Jacobs) and became the CEO of a charter high school (IHS) – Look it up. He replaced the well-liked female CEO who landed over at an OPSB charter and was recently “thrown out” by the nonprofit board] and Mitchell was awarded the principalship at Franklin Elementary. My gawd – this is like “Days of Our Lives” or some other soap opera.

  • Marv Johnson

    Dear A.M., if veteran credentialed teachers really make the difference in academic achievement, then why were Orleans Parish schools so bad before Katrina?