Members of the Orleans Parish School Board are expected to vote this Tuesday, Aug. 17, on a proposal by board member Thomas Robichaux to establish the Foundation for New Orleans Public Schools. Robichaux says his goal is to set up an independent nonprofit that can receive and shepherd donations to the city's public school system. In effect, he said, it will function like an endowment.
"I hope to see it receive some income-producing property in the beginning so that it can be self-sustaining in terms of its staff," Robichaux says. "That way, when people donate money or property, 100 percent of donations can go directly to benefit school children — and no portion of donations would go toward administrative costs or overhead."
Robichaux says he hopes the first donations will fund after-school academic programs that will enhance learning opportunities for students. He adds that details of the foundation's operations — including how its board will be appointed — will be worked out in the coming months. He emphasizes the foundation board should include highly qualified professionals with expertise in a variety of disciplines, and that it "must be nonpolitical ... and not subject to whim or policies or politics of the school board." — Clancy DuBos