New Orleans has become a case study in how children and families are affected by decentralization of public education and mental health systems. The problem is particularly urgent because more schoolchildren suffer from mental health issues here than in other parts of the country.
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 federal government should have paid for most of the meals, but months passed before ReNEW provided the proper documentation. Since then, RSD has been trying to get the money from ReNEW. How much is owed? RSD says it’s about $496,000; ReNEW says it’s about $232,000.