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Decision near on whether ReNEW gets to run City Park Academy — or wants to

The ReNEW Schools charter management group will find out next week whether it has been chosen to take charge of McDonogh City Park Academy — and then must decide whether it wants the job.

That was the message from ReNEW president and chief operating officer Kevin Guitterrez at the board’s monthly meeting last Thursday. Guitterrez said he has been told that ReNEW and the Crescent City Schools management group are the two finalists to take over McDonogh City Park Academy.

If chosen, ReNEW would still have to decide whether to accept the offer to add a sixth school to its portfolio, as was sketched out at the board’s March meeting.

Several McDonogh City Park board members have visited ReNEW schools over the past several weeks, Guitterrez said. The merger, if it happens, would begin with the 2015-2016 school year.

The McDonogh board is expected to make its decision at their Tuesday board meeting.

In other developments, two bills affecting the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana that Guitterrez mentioned last month remain active in the Louisiana Legislature. House bills 37 and 44 from Rep. Kevin Pearson, R-Slidell, would require that part of every school’s per-pupil state funding go to the pension system for teachers to reduce unfunded accrued liability.

ReNEW administrators said they anticipate a version of this bill to become law eventually. Chief Financial Officer Tanya Bryant said ReNEW already plans to set aside about $1.5 million for this purpose next year. The 2014-2015 budget will be available to the public in July before it is approved in August.

ReNEW Schools’ next board meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at 3649 Laurel St.

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