Northshore Charter School CEO/Principal Dee Dee McCullough, COO Felicia Workman, and Board President Bubba Bourne appeared before the Washington Parish Council Monday (September 25, 2017) evening and provided information that some council members freely admitted not knowing. The three representatives described the school's environment, goals, challenges, accountability, plans to meet the increased demand, efforts to close achievement gaps, and successes and dispelled some misunderstandings. Northshore 1) is a public school, 2) does not charge tuition, 3) is funded with taxpayer monies, 4) does not pay board members (100% volunteer), 4) does not “pick and choose” students, and 5) has operated “in the black” from the beginning.
Northshore Charter started in 2013 with 23 students and now have 630 and is a K-12 school. They were initially denied approval as a Type 1 charter school by the Bogalusa School System but was authorized as a Type 2 school under the oversight of BESE. As of July, 2017 they became a Type 1 under oversight of the Bogalusa School Board. This was the result of BESE's efforts to return charter schools to the oversight of local school districts and to encourage charter schools and traditional school districts to work together. As a Type 1 school, Northshore could accept any student but as a Type 2 school, only students from the Bogalusa School District will be accepted.
The fact is that the Bogalusa School District and Northshore Charter School competes for the same students and during the presentation, the relationship between the two was described as “complicated”. In answer to a comment from Councilman Lewis about the relationship, Bourne responded that “we can be friends and compete or we can be enemies and compete. Either way we compete. So we choose to be friends and compete”.
View video of the segment beginning at 2:40 into the meeting.