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ReNEW board briefed on exploratory moves toward possible City Park Academy takeover

The ReNEW charter management group is one of several charter school organizations interested in taking over McDonogh City Park Academy.

Kevin Guitterrez, ReNEW’s president and chief operating officer, told board members at their Thursday meeting that his staff have met with their counterparts from the New Orleans Charter Schools Foundation, the group that runs McDonogh City Park. ReNEW was scheduled to make a presentation at McDonogh’s board meeting on Tuesday, he said.

If the two sides agree that the takeover is a good fit, ReNEW will “green light the process,” Guitterrez said. No binding commitments have been made as yet, he said.

The management change would begin with the 2015-16 school year. McDonogh City Park Academy, which had 420 students in 2012-13, earned a C rating on its most recent report card from the Louisiana Department of Education.

Guitterrez also updated board members on the status of several bills pending in the current state legislative session. House bills 37 and 44, introduced by Rep. Kevin Pearson, R-Slidell, would require that a portion of every school’s per-pupil state allocation go to the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana to pay down its unfunded accrued liability.

Guitterrez called the bills “severe threats” to ReNEW’s budget.

In its only vote, the board agreed unanimously to allow Chief Executive Officer Gary Robichaux to sign for an extension of the organization’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant.

In his final report to ReNEW’s board, development manager Pete Rodway said ReNEW’s Chili in the Channel fundraiser raised a net $11,813. He announced his resignation at the January board meeting.

Rodway has assisted ReNEW in the search for a development director to replace him. The candidates list is down to three, chief of staff Colleen Mackay said.

The next board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. April 10, at 3649 Laurel St.

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  • nickelndime

    ReNEW possible takeover of McDonogh City Park Academy: It’s not what you know – it’s who you know, and if you know (I mean really “know” as in “doing business with”) people in the favored nonprofits (like New Schools for New Orleans), then people like Mr. Guitterrez knows that they will get even more schools to run and a bigger piece of the public pie – and with federal dollars yet! Mr. Robichaux is underqualified and overpaid and he is getting paid an exorbitant salary for on-the-job training. Of course this group (ReNEW) does not want money allocated to the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL). It means that they (like so many other nonprofit charter boards and CMOs) will have less money to spend lavishly and loosely, because the public money will go toward professional (certified) educators who favor a secure retirement system. TFA members and inexperienced, noncertified individuals do not need, nor do they want, to be vested contributors to a Louisiana retirement system. That’s how these groups cut costs and “balance” their budgets.

  • HalfFullClass

    Hand over the keys to another building to the machine. The goal of reNew is to become the largest charter in NOLA. Fill the buildings with TFA & TeachNOLA green teachers that will follow whatever the CMO demands and the students are just lab rats in another experiment.
    Snake Oil Garry will make more promises and cash more checks. Sad day for our students.

  • nickelndime

    ReNEW: HalfFullClass – the poorest students in this city are lab rats.