One major advantage offered to schools under the charter school model is the ability to operate free of some of the usual red tape that afflicts schools.
A new law in Louisiana (PDF) is designed “to authorize the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to exempt school districts from various laws and regulations pertaining to education; to provide procedures regarding request for and approval of such waivers; to provide for terms and conditions on such waivers.”
According to the Times-Picayune,
To take advantage of the law, which [Gov. Bobby] Jindal dubbed the “Red Tape Reduction Act,” local officials must submit a written application that details what rules they want waived, what they propose instead and what benefits students would get from the plan.
A superintendent could apply only with the approval of the local school board and a majority of the teachers at any affected school. The state school board would have the final say over the waiver.
The program would be open to any schools, though there are more restrictions for campuses that already are threatened with state takeover at the time of their application.
The state school board could suspend a waiver at any point. The schools could not use waivers to privatize support services and nonteaching employees that cannot already be outsourced. Another Senate committee amendment would bar any school from opting out of a new teacher-evaluation system that Jindal signed last month.
It’s not clear how long the law will stand, or what it will look like. A teacher union has challenged the law.