Einstein Charter Schools appears to be backing down in its months-long dispute with the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) over busing. The Einstein charter school board has voted to work out a transportation plan that could include yellow buses. The decision came days after the district threatened to revoke Einstein's right to run two of their schools.
"We realized in looking at this that to continue this was not in the best interest of the children, and not in the best interest of the system. It was an expensive proposition, but the children and their safety need to come first, and we just had a change of heart," Einstein Board President Chris Bowman, III, said in a phone interview.
The decision is an apparent about-face from the position Einstein's school administrators initially took after OPSB threatened to pull their charters last Monday. Administrators initially said they planned to stand their ground.
Bowman says the board has a plan in place and that he hopes to start busing students in the next few weeks.
Unlike most public schools in Orleans Parish, Einstein does not provide yellow-bus transportation at any of its four schools. The Orleans Parish School Board says that is against district policy and has been trying to force the school group to hire a bus company since last fall.
Orleans Parish School Superintendent Henderson Lewis plans to decide in April whether to continue with revoking Einstein's charters. A district spokeswoman says Lewis will take Einstein's newest plan into consideration. Bowman says he's had several conversations with Lewis over the last week "to try to find a way to solve the problem and make coming to school safer for children."
Support for WWNO's education reporting comes from Entergy.