Charter schools a new possibility in Lafayette Parish

Parents may have another option when it comes to where their child goes to school in Lafayette Parish.

Four new charter schools could be on the horizon, with one that could possibly be ready for students as early as next year. Wednesday afternoon the Lafayette Parish School Board heard presentations from two different companies hoping to open a total of four charter schools. Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper says he thinks they can help the system two fold.

“We think they can bring quality education to our kids and I think that's important. Second thing is we all know that we need additional buildings,” said Cooper.

The two privately owned companies are National Heritage Academies and Charter Schools USA who hope to open one and three schools respectively in the parish.

“Upper Lafayette is an area where students aren't necessarily achieving the way we would like to see them do so we'd hope to be part of that solution,” said Megan Dekraker

While NHA is looking at upper Lafayette for their one k-8th campus; Charter Schools USA has a plan of opening two k-8th schools on the north end and another on the southside. While a high school would service the entire parish.

“Students that come from high poverty backgrounds. students that come from minority backgrounds so forth do exceptionally well in our network of schools,” said Jay Augustine.

Both organizations have schools in Louisiana, but in Lafayette Parish they would be a type one charter school which basically incorporates them into the school system.

What makes these charter schools so attractive to the school system is their ability to use private money to build brand new campuses which both plan on doing if they become part of Lafayette Parish. However by law, the school system will fund the schools on a per pupil basis.

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