New Orleans Committee Proposes Shifting Budget, Hiring Power to Principals

Published: January 19, 2006

NEW ORLEANS – A mayoral committee has proposed the decentralization of city schools.

According to a report by the New York Times, the plan, which was proposed Jan. 17, recommends shifting power to individual schools from the central school administration. Budget decisions, as well as control over hiring and firing, would now be in the hands of school principals. The committee also proposed the creation of a pre-kindergarten program and freedom of choice for parents.

New Orleans schools, already deeply affected by and transformed as a result of Hurricane Katrina, were plagued by a bloated administration prior to the storm. Millions in federal funds were lost or mismanaged, and many school employees had been indicated or convicted on corruption charges.

The plan requires mayor, governor and state education department approval.

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