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To Keep Schools, Einstein Agrees To Provide Buses And Pay Back Parents

OPSB has begun the process of revoking Einstein Charter Schools' right to run two elementary schools.
Jess Clark
WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio
Einstein Charter Schools and the Orleans Parish School Board have reached a settlement agreement over a busing dispute.

The Orleans Parish School Board has settled a months-long dispute with Einstein Charter Schools over busing.

Einstein Charter Schools and the Orleans Parish School Board have been at odds since last fall, when a parent reported that the school was not providing bus transportation, as originally reported by WWNO.

At Thursday night's school board meeting, that parent —Myra — we’re only using her first name here — told the school board she’s pleased with the settlement agreement. It requires Einstein to provide buses and $50,000 in restitution for families who had been paying for private van services and other school transportation costs.

"I felt it was illogical that I should have to pay money for my children to attend school," she told the board. "That was a legal right for all the children at all the schools to have that service."

The district had threatened to revoke Einstein’s charters. But Orleans Parish School Superintendent Henderson Lewis says the agreement means Einstein will get to keep running the schools.

"This settlement is a good outcome," Lewis told the board, "but I want to make it very, very clear moving forward the district will continue to fulfill its regulatory responsibility and on an ongoing basis insure both Einstein and all other schools provide appropriate transportation to students as required by policy and the charter contract. "

Einstein started busing students earlier this week. The agreement requires Einstein to hire a third-party contractor to review claims from parents who believe they have incurred costs as a result of not being provided bus service. Parents have until June 30, 2018 to submit their claims with documentation of expenses incurred.

Einstein also has agreed to maintain a hotline service for parents with transportation concerns.

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