Southern Education Desk

Paul Boger / Southern Education Desk

States across the US have increasingly been turning to charter schools in an effort to bolster struggling public school systems. Two of the most recent states to adopt the controversial form of education are Mississippi and Alabama. As part of the Southern Education Desk's series examining charter schools in the South, MPB's Paul Boger reports on how those states are adapting to the alternative form of public education. 

Andre Natta / Southern Education Desk

Florida has about 650 charter schools. They're part of school districts but are privately managed and largely free of many of the rules governing traditional public schools. But as enrollment in charters has increased, so has the financial cost.

WFSU's Lynn Hatter reports for the Southern Education Desk that Tennessee and Georgia are also struggling to find ways to support their charter schools.

Amy Jeffries / Southern Education Desk

The big push for charter schools in Louisiana started after Hurricane Katrina. The state's Recovery School District took over most of the public schools in New Orleans, and quickly issued charters.

With charter school enrollment up to nearly 3 million nationwide last year, Louisiana was still among the states adding the most students.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Charter schools are changing American education. Some say for the better, some say for the worse. This week the Southern Education Desk looks at the charter school movement throughout the south: the similarities and differences between states, and a glimpse at what's ahead. The series starts in New Orleans, the testing ground for the charter movement. Nearly all the city's public schools have been converted into charters: publicly funded, but privately run. Since then, a major lesson has emerged.

Pre-K: Politics and Poverty

Mar 22, 2013

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for universal pre-K.

The President singled out Georgia and Oklahoma as states that have already made pre-K a priority.

Louisiana should also be ahead of the curve.

The state enacted a universal pre-K promise in 2008. Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, LA-4 classes are supposed to be provided at no cost to every eligible child.