Cowen Institute Releases Brief on CMOs in New Orleans

Media Contact:
Vincent Rossmeir, Policy Director
Cowen Institute News Release

For immediate release – April 8, 2015


CMOs Continue To Grow In New Orleans

According to a brief released today by the Cowen Institute at Tulane University, 60 percent of public charter schools in New Orleans are now part of a charter management organization (CMO). A CMO is an organization that operates multiple charter schools. By performing many of the functions of a traditional school district, CMOs act as small, non-traditional school districts in an otherwise decentralized education landscape.

“This issue brief offers a unique analysis of the increasing prevalence of CMOs in New Orleans,” said Vincent Rossmeier, Director of Policy for the Cowen Institute. “The brief helps to highlight the benefits and drawbacks CMOs have for individual schools, students, parents, and administrators.”

The brief found that since the 2006-2007 school year, the number of students attending schools within CMOs and the total number of CMOs have both increased significantly. There are now 12 CMOs operating in New Orleans, and some enroll more students than entire parishes in Louisiana.

The brief also explains how CMOs affect public school governance, including charter schools boards. It provides both new analyses of CMOs, as well as foundational information so that the public can better understand the increasing importance CMOs have in New Orleans’ public education.

The brief can also be found on the Cowen Institute’s website at

The mission of the Cowen Institute is to advance public education and youth success in New Orleans and beyond. Launched in 2007, we inform relevant stakeholders, decision makers, and the public at large on issues related to K-12 public education, opportunity youth, and college and career readiness. We promote the practical application of data and analysis to improve education and career pathways for youth. We also proactively develop, incubate, and operate innovative initiatives that support students and young adults. Based at Tulane University, a national research and regional anchor institution, we strive to positively impact our community and strengthen the local and regional economy.



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