The Military and Maritime Academy’s leadership is concerned about discussions between the state and local Type 2 charters that could lead to mandatory use of the centralized OneApp enrollment process.
At the board meeting Tuesday night, members discussed ways to avoid participating in the process.
Currently in Orleans Parish, Type 5 charters—those that answer to the Recovery School District—participate in the OneApp process, sparing parents the need to visit schools across the city and comply with differing enrollment procedures as they seek a placement for their child.
State education superintendent John White and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) are considering extension of the process to Type 2 charters, including NOMMA, beginning in the 2014-15 school year. Type 2 charters answer to BESE.
The board argues that because of NOMMA’s specialized charter, they should be exempt from any potential application mandate. All NOMMA students must join the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), a decision the career military board members feel should not be taken lightly.
“We must sit down with a parent and child before they enroll to be sure they’re clear on our expectations, including uniforms and Department of the Navy’s expectations,” Bill Davis, the school’s commandant, said.
Other board members expressed concern that students unacquainted with the rigors of the NOMMA program might discover that it did not mesh with their long-term goals and plans. “It’s like telling a kid they’re going to NOCCA and expecting them to play the bassoon at a college level,” board member James Reiss said.
The JROTC stipulation was approved by BESE when the school was granted its founding charter. Extensive school funding from the Department of the Navy depends on JROTC being a key component of the NOMMA experience.
In other business, the board ratified an agreement to take out a loan to begin building the academy’s new campus within the Federal City development. The nominating committee recommended that board members serve in their same positions next year. Board returnee Capt. Dave Whiddon will serve as vice chairman, a newly created post.