Decade after Katrina, New Orleans poised to regain schools

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — More than a decade after a catastrophic hurricane led to the state’s takeover of most New Orleans public schools, Louisiana’s Legislature is poised to return oversight to the local school board.

The state House in Baton Rouge on Thursday voted 55-16 for legislation that returns governance of more than 50 schools to the New Orleans board as early as 2018. The Senate has approved the measure but will have to cast one more vote next week on minor House language changes.

The schools are now operated as independent charter schools. They would remain charters under the local board — which is why some charter critics oppose the bill.

After Katrina hit in 2005, Louisiana took control of most New Orleans public schools from what was then an ineffective, corruption-plagued local system.