The Louisiana Senate has given final approval to legislation that would return more than 50 state-controlled New Orleans public schools to local management.
The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that the bill calls for the schools to return to the Orleans Parish School District as early as 2018. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has said he will sign the legislation.
The Louisiana Recovery School District took over the schools following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Over the last decade, the Recovery District has brought in charter organizations to operate each school it controlled in New Orleans.
When the schools are returned to local control, they will remain charter schools. The Orleans Parish School Board will assume the Recovery District's administrative authority and its role in deciding whether to renew or revoke charters.
Asserting that "the extraordinary circumstances that necessitated state intervention" were no longer applicable, the Orleans Parish district favored a return to local control.
"The Orleans Parish School Board and district administration believes that it is time to begin the orderly process of working with all education stakeholders to return to unified, locally elected and locally accountable governance for all public schools," the district says on its web site.
"This work must be done in a fashion that protects the incredible gains in student outcomes achieved over the past decade that is inclusive of community voices, that is reflective of the unique conditions that exist in New Orleans, and that sets a firm foundation for a system that continues to meet the needs of all students and families."