Recovery School District
The Recovery School District is a special statewide school district administered by the Louisiana Department of Education. Created by legislation passed in 2003, the RSD is designed to take underperforming schools and transform them into successful places for children to learn. While the majority of RSD-supervised schools are within New Orleans and were largely under the administration of the Orleans Parish School Board pre-Katrina, the RSD has also taken over schools in East Baton Rouge, Caddo and Pointe Coupee parishes, reflecting its statewide authority and full name, the Recovery School District of Louisiana. As of 2012 it is the fifth largest school district in Louisiana by student population.
The Recovery School District's supervisory board is Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). The RSD has two offices, the one in New Orleans serves schools in Greater New Orleans and the one in Baton Rouge serves other areas.
During the 2003 Regular Legislative Session, the Louisiana Legislature passed Act 9 to create the Recovery School District (RSD) to take over the operations of failing schools, defined as schools that do not meet the minimum academic standards for at least four consecutive years. The legislation was signed into law in May of that year by Governor of Louisiana Kathleen Blanco.
Pierre Capdau School in New Orleans became the state's first takeover school in 2004, and subsequently became Louisiana's first RSD charter school, known as a Type 5 charter school. In August 2004, the school opened as Pierre Capdau-UNO Charter School under the management of the New Beginnings Foundation and the University of New Orleans. In the spring of 2005, four additional New Orleans schools were taken over by the state, and turned over to charter school operators: Medard Nelson, Samuel Green, Phillips and Sophie B. Wright.
Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans on August 29, 2005, bringing near total devastation to the city and damaging or destroying more than 100 of the city's 128 school buildings. In the face of uncertainties about the future of schools in the city, the Louisiana Legislature acted by passing Act 35, legislation that transferred 107 worst-performing public schools to the RSD. Act 35 allowed for state intervention in school districts in academic crisis, providing for state takeover of schools that were performing below the state average.
Most of the schools taken into the RSD have been chartered (charter schools).
Schools in other parishes in the state have been placed in the RSD.
For the 2011-2012 school year, a total of 101 schools statewide are either administered directly by the RSD, operated by a charter organization as a Type 5 (RSD) charter, operated under a management agreement with the RSD or under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the local school district.
- In Orleans Parish, there are currently 50 RSD charter schools and 16 direct-operated schools.
- In East Baton Rouge Parish there are six RSD charter schools, one direct-operated school and four schools under management agreements. * In Caddo Parish, there is one direct-run school and one charter school
- In Pointe Coupee Parish, there is one charter school; in St. Helena Parish there is one direct-run school.
- There are 20 schools statewide operating under MOUs that require them to show meaningful progress or they too will be placed in the RSD.
The Recovery School District served approximately 40,000 students statewide in the 2011-2012 school year.
Since January 2012, the Recovery School District has been led by Patrick Dobard, former deputy superintendent for the Recovery School District. In his previous position, Dobard oversaw all community engagement and outreach activities, as well as establishing and implementing education policy for the Recovery School District (RSD).
- Recovery School District Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.rsdla.net/InfoGlance/FAQs.aspx
- "New State Superintendent of Education named." (Archive) KATC-TV. January 11, 2012. Retrieved on July 9, 2013. "Based on student population, the RSD is the fifth largest school district in Louisiana, although the state-run school district provides direct or indirect oversight to 79 of the state's most challenging schools in five parishes; schools are transferred to the RSD after failing to meet the state's minimum performance score for four consecutive years."
- "Contact." Recovery School District. Retrieved on March 16, 2013.
- Staff reports (April 22, 2005). "State OKs takeover of 4 N.O. schools". The Times-Picayune.