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    July 27, 2020
    Seeks Candidate Pledges on Issues to Improve Educational Opportunities and Outcomes 
    New Orleans, La. (Jul. 27, 2020) – Today, Forward New Orleans for Public Schools (FNOPS), a coalition of diverse civic, business and neighborhood organizations committed to increasing the number of quality public school options and ensuring equal access to quality education citywide, released an issue-based platform ahead of the Nov. 3 Orleans Parish School Board elections. The platform establishes issues FNOPS defines as most important to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for New Orleans public school students. FNOPS will seek a pledge from each candidate to implement the platform’s action items. The candidates’ responses will be published prior to the election as a tool for voters to assess the candidates.  
    “As we work to confront many of the challenges facing our schools in New Orleans, we see the Forward New Orleans for Public Schools platform as a good way to build consensus among education advocacy organizations around policies and ideas that support all students.  And, while providing support to the School Board towards maintaining the progress and positive developments of recent years in the areas of access to quality educational opportunities and the equitable distribution of resources, we must ensure that the momentum continues and that the resolve for progress remains strong,” said Judy Reese Morse, President & CEO, Urban League of Louisiana, a FNOPS member organization. “We look forward to working as a part of Forward New Orleans for Public Schools to support our elected School Board members and hold them accountable for addressing the important issues outlined in the platform.”

    Following are the eight issues of the platform: (1) racial equity evaluation, planning and training; (2) COVID-19 and emergency planning; (3) system-wide strategic planning and stakeholder engagement; (4) expansion and replication of successful schools; (5) ensuring all students have equitable access to resources; (6) school standards and accountability; (7) resource management; and (8) collaboration on best practices. 
    As it has since 2012, FNOPS helped School Board members and other stakeholders  establish priorities for on-going progress and ensure accountability even as new, important issues and challenges emerge.  Central to the FNOPS mission is the engagement of parents and the community in the election process to make certain true educational champions are elected. 
    “Following through on the issues laid out in this platform will mean better outcomes and more options for our young people after graduation, and it also means a brighter economic future for our city, region and state” said, Coleman D. Ridley, Jr., managing director, Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, a FNOPS member organization. 
    Forward New Orleans for Public Schools includes: Agenda for Children, Alliance for Diversity and Excellence, Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, Ed Navigator, Education Reform Now LA, Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Greater New Orleans, Inc., Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, Kingsley House, Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, New Orleans & Co., New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, New Schools for New Orleans, Public School Advocates, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Urban League of Louisiana, Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training, and Young Leadership Council.
    The FNOPS platform can be found at FNOPS.org. 
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