Charter Schools

KIPP passes measure to take on debt for construction if RSD comes through with land

KIPP New Orleans Schools is prepared to take school construction into its own hands if the Recovery School District grants them desirable land.

The charter management organization is awaiting a siting plan from the RSD about a location that KIPP’s board spelled out in a resolution earlier this week. It refers to the Bayou District, an area east of Bayou St. John where the St. Bernard public housing complex once stood.

The board passed the resolution Monday authorizing the network to take on financing and debt necessary to build a school if they like the RSD’s site, subject to further approval.

The resolution gives a Friday deadline for the three key KIPP leaders to accept the RSD’s plan.

“We have not sent KIPP any letter with a plan as of today,” RSD Chief of Staff Laura Hawkins said Thursday afternoon.

KIPP’s schools operate in a variety of new and refurbished Orleans Parish School Board-owned buildings. The state-run Recovery School District determines which buildings they occupy.

Among the chief concerns for the network appear to be that not all of its schools have a permanent facility. The new campus would be for KIPP Believe, the resolution states.

However, according to the Recovery School District’s longterm plan for locating schools, KIPP Believe will have space at Johnson Elementary School and Ronald McNair Elementary School. Students moved out of McNair this year while it undergoes renovations.

KIPP did not respond to requests for comment.

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