Joseph A. Craig Charter School
Governed by Friends of King School
Algiers Charter Schools Association staff went on 19 trips over four years, including five out of state that cost $113,000. And new figures from KIPP New Orleans Schools show that it spent $133,000 on its trip to Las Vegas. All told, The Lens has added up $316,000 in travel for three charter organizations.
About 185 of KIPP's 440 employees in New Orleans attended a national summit for KIPP staffers in Nevada. The trip cost substantially more than the $69,400 that Friends of King spent on a staff-wide retreat in Biloxi, Miss. But Kipp's nine schools all have money in the bank, while one of Friends of King's two schools posted a $1 million deficit.
All of the approximately 180 employees of the two-school charter organization were invited to the Beau Rivage in August. The charter organization covered their hotel rooms and meals. A week later, CEO Doris Roché-Hicks told staff at one school that their pay would be cut 2 percent. That move saved about as much as the retreat cost.
It will cost $30 million to bring students to and from public schools this year, compared to $18 million the year before Katrina. The increase appears to be a consequence of citywide enrollment and the shift from a centrally-run school system. A few schools are working together to negotiate busing contracts.
The head of the Friends of King charter school system has hired six relatives, including at least two whose employment appears to violate state ethics laws that ban nepotism. Chief Executive Officer Doris Roché-Hicks employs her sister, daughter, son-in-law, grandson and great niece. She also employs her son-in-law’s brother. State law prohibits the hiring of immediate family members, though not all of these relations meet the definition of "immediate family" in the law.
The background check for New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy only went back seven years and wasn't as comprehensive as a similar service available from the state. Darrell Sims was once charged with stealing from a Terrebone school; now NOPD is investigating him for theft from the military academy.
The Friends of King board of directors has green-lighted a continuing search for grants to finance a pre-kindergarten program at Joseph A. Craig Elementary School and learning centers to supplement classroom instruction at both Craig and Martin Luther King Science and Technology Charter School. Passage of resolutions authorizing reapplication for the funding was the highlight of the directors’ monthly meeting, March 12, in the Craig library.
Friends of King School met in regular session on July 25, after passing budgets for the two schools under the board’s management: Martin Luther King School of Science and Technology and Joseph Craig Elementary. Principal Doris Hicks, chief executive officer of the schools, updated the board on an overture from a group of George Washington Carver alumni interested in getting Friends of King to help them apply for a charter to run their troubled high school.
The board of directors who run Martin Luther King School of Science and Technology, as well as the Joseph Craig Elementary, approve budgets for the 2012-13 school year at their meeting July 19. Discussion began with the budget for Craig, which the Friends of King School board begins operating in the coming year.
The Friends of King School Board released its budget for the 2012-13 school year at Martin Luther King Science and Technology Charter. It also released a budget for Joseph A. Craig Elementary, which the board will begin running in the coming year. Based on an anticipated enrollment of 685 students, the school expects to receive about $7.85 million in revenue, of which about $6 million will be per-student state and local funding.