LAFAYETTE — Two Lafayette Parish public-school parents, who fought last year against for-profit charter operators opening schools here, have organized a new watchdog group called Power of Public Education Lafayette.
Parents Kathleen Espinoza and Ann Burruss organized the watchdog group Swamp BESE last year in protest of two charter groups’ applications to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to open charter schools in Lafayette Parish.
After the Lafayette Parish School Board rejected the applications, the groups then applied to the state board, which approved the applications.
Three of the five new charter schools planned for the parish are set to open in August.
The new group formed by Espinoza and Burruss is policy-focused and has an interest in advocating for public policies that promote public education free of privatization.
“There needs to be an alternative voice to that movement,” Espinoza said.
Espinoza said while the charter school issue served as a catalyst for the group, its focus is on advocacy to ensure all students receive an equitable education.
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