Report details changes in New Orleans public school governance

September 29, 2015

Keith Brannon
Phone: 504-865-5210

The Cowen Institute has released a new report on the ever-evolving structure of public school governance in New Orleans, explaining what types of charter schools exist in the city and how the district changed between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

The policy brief is a primer on the decentralized governance structure of the city’s 82 public schools. The city has 75 public charter schools, and the vast majority are housed within the Recovery School District (RSD). Within the last year, the total number of RSD charters shrank by five schools, while another of the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (BESE) charter schools moved to New Orleans and the Orleans Parish School Board’s district grew by four charters.

Only 24 of the city’s public schools are overseen by a locally elected board. The remainder are overseen by BESE. Including charter boards, there are 44 governing bodies over the city’s public schools.  

“This brief and its accompanying charts help parents and educators navigate the city’s complex public school governance structure,” said Patrick Sims, senior policy analyst at the Cowen Institute. “New Orleans’ public school governance is unique. Both newcomers and long-time New Orleanians need help navigating it.”

The brief is available at

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000