In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina nearly 10 years ago, the state of Louisiana took control of more than 100 failing public schools in the Orleans Parish and made them part of the state's Recovery School District.
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has voted to approve the return of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School to the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), the Recovery District announced in a statement.
"We are excited to welcome King Charter School back to the OPSB as a charter school," said Orleans Parish Superintendent Henderson Lewis. "Since 2005, we have developed comprehensive systems and policies to ensure that our charter schools are well-supported, and we are confident that King will be continue its stellar academic growth under our governance."
The King school is situated in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, one of the areas of the city most devastated by the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina.
Under state law and education department policy, charter schools such as King may elect to return to the governance of the local school board after at least five years with the Recovery District and two consecutive years with a School Performance Score of 54.0 or higher. Friends of King, the non-profit board that operates King Charter School, voted to return to Orleans Parish in December of 2014. The school had met the required performance standards, attaining a score of 85.5 in 2014 for a letter grade of B.
Other schools in the Recovery District have met the criteria to return to local control, but they have opted to remain under state control.
The Recovery District notes that schools returning to local control must maintain some practices common to recovery schools, particularly ones that ensure a fair, equitable, and transparent enrollment process for students and families.
The King campus was brought under Recovery District governance and opened as a preK-12 charter school in August 2006 in a temporary location. In 2007, it became the first school to reopen in the Lower 9th Ward after Katrina.