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Local Control May Return to Some New Orleans Schools

A new proposal may clear the way for some New Orleans schools to return to local control, rather than spend another five years in the state's recovery school district.

Louisiana's superintendent, Paul Pastorek, will make the recommendation to the state's board of elementary of secondary and elementary education tomorrow, reports The Times-Picayune newspaper.

Pastorek told The Times-Picayune that schools that show consistent academic improvement would be eligible to leave state control and return to local control after gaining community input.

The proposal is anything but a done deal. The board will vote on it in December, but before then, it has to hold at least one hearing in New Orleans. And while many in New Orleans want to see local control return at some point, there's widespread disagreement about what it should look like. The old school district and its board are best known for poor fiscal management, allegations of corruption and failing schools.

New Orleans's schools have spent the past five years under state control since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in August 2005. For more on how education has changed there in the past five years, I commend to you the series my colleagues wrote on five-year anniversary.

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