ACSA puts controversial personnel moves on hold after crowd chants: “Raza must go”

More than 300 members of the Algiers community gathered at the McDonogh 32 Literacy Charter School to speak out against recent firings and the transfer of successful principals to failing schools within the charter organization. A call and response chant of “Raza must go” and “erase the board” came following the end of an unofficial public comment section and disrupted the regularly scheduled Algiers Charter School Association board meeting Thursday, June 28.

School Board concerned over firings in Algiers Charter Schools

The first round of cuts has surfaced from the Algiers Charter School Association’s bid to improve student performance by terminating and moving around principals, and so far, it’s not only principals who’ve been targeted. At least one termination, at Edna Karr High School, is in violation of the Orleans Parish School Board’s contract with the charter school group, School Board officials say.

Optional retirement program approved for teachers and staff; Karr and Harte remain in fold

Trustees of the Algiers Charter School Association have approved the Hartman Group as provider of the optional 403(b) retirement program for school employees. The approval, at the board’s monthly meeting, April 26,  followed a state attorney general’s opinion earlier in the week that the Louisiana Constitution precludes charter schools from leaving the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana.

Did they or didn't they? Algiers charter board reconsiders revoking teachers retirement

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

Update: The story has been corrected to reflect two changes – one, board member Charles Rice’s status as a member, not a president, and two, charter contract renewal forms being the method ACSA officials would have used to change retirement benefit options. 

If you had asked Algiers Charter School Association officials a few weeks ago why the charter operator was no longer participating in the statewide teacher retirement pension program, they would have told you that they voluntarily opted out because the costs had gotten too steep. If you asked them the same question at their board meeting tonight, they would have told you that they never made a decision to opt out of the program, that they didn’t know they were out of the program until the state department of education told them in September, and that they were now fighting to remain in the program until the end of the fiscal year.

Algiers teachers who lost retirement benefits plan strategy, get support from officials

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

Less than two weeks after the Algiers Charter School Association announced its decision to cut retirement benefits for more than 400 employees, Algiers charter school teachers and other education stakeholders met Wednesday night to discuss ways to protest the change. The group is calling itself the Algiers Parent Teachers and Community Organization, and is comprised of current teachers, parents, retirees, among others.