The Orleans Parish School Board will invite two superintendent candidates back for another round of interviews as it seeks a to find a permanent leader and help dispel the belief that it is unstable.
“We have two great candidates,” board President Nolan Marshall said at a meeting Tuesday night. “I’m sure very soon we will have a superintendent.”
The board also voted 6-0 to sue the Recovery School District over its decision to reopen some closed charter schools in New Orleans.
Both issues were discussed in an hourlong executive session.
The board interviewed three superintendent candidates last week and quickly invited them back for second interviews this week.
Candidates Debbra Lindo and Katrise Perera completed the second round of questioning Monday, and the board interviewed Henderson Lewis before Tuesday night’s meeting.
Lindo and Lewis will come back for another interview and a community presentation.
Lindo most recently was superintendent of the Emery Unified School District in California; she announced her retirement there last fall.
Lewis is the superintendent of the East Feliciana Parish school district and a member of the St. Bernard Parish School Board. He also has held leadership positions in the Algiers Charter Schools Association.
The prolonged lack of a permanent superintendent — the result of the board’s inability to muster the needed five votes for any candidate — has been cited against the School Board this fall as boards of academically eligible Recovery School District charter schools have considered a return to the OPSB.
The RSD took over a majority of the city’s schools shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Under a 2010 state policy, academically recovered charter schools can choose whether to remain in the RSD or return to local control.
Only one RSD charter school board, Friends of King, has voted to return a school to the OPSB so far.
The School Board has fought the continued existence of the RSD, which originally was created as a temporary entity to turn around failing schools.
The board passed a resolution this fall stating its belief that the RSD could not open any new schools in the city, even former schools that have closed temporarily. The RSD disagrees with that notion, most clearly in its recent request for applications for charter operators to reopen John McDonogh and Sarah T. Reed high schools.
The School Board took that a step further Tuesday, voting to sue the RSD over the issue. Board member Sarah Usdin abstained from the 6-0 vote.
Marshall questioned whether the RSD has the right to hold onto buildings after shutting down schools, as it has done at both McDonogh and Reed.
The board also approved its general counsel’s recommendation to settle a landmark special education lawsuit that alleged students with disabilities were underserved.