The Cowen Institute believes that all children should have the opportunity to go to school in a high quality facility. Many students in New Orleans and across the state attend school in buildings with mold, asbestos, and downright horrific conditions. Part of the problem is that Louisiana ranks fourth lowest among all states in terms of total spending on public school facilities and is one of only nine states that does not provide state funding for school buildings.
In New Orleans, the multi-phase School Facilities Master Plan is in the process of being implemented by the Orleans Parish School Board and the Recovery School District at a cost of approximately $2 billion. In August 2010, FEMA awarded a $1.8 billion settlement for rebuilding and renovated school facilities across the city. The Cowen Institute was instrumental in writing the policy that created the Master Plan Oversight Committee to provide expert advice and accountability throughout implementation of the plan. Additionally, we work to monitor all changes made to the plan, which include substantial budget increases to projects and movement of schools from one phase to another.
On a statewide level, the Cowen Institute works to bring about improved facilities through increased state involvement in facilities planning, funding, and maintenance. We also work with our partners on other school facilities issues, including recently co-hosting a statewide summit on school siting with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to explore how best practices related to school facilities can be implemented in Louisiana.
- Cowen Institute Reports, Publications & Presentations
- From the Blog
- The Cowen Institute in the News
- Additional Resources
New Orleans Public School Facilities Update
This report updates costs, budgets, and anticipated funding for the remainder of the work in the School Facilities Master Plan (SFMP). The purpose is to give the community a current look at the accomplishments and challenges that still face New Orleans in this colossal and crucial public works project.
The State of Public Education in New Orleans: School Facilities
This publication presents an overview of the state of school facilities funding, maintenance, and building assignments in New Orleans today.
School Siting Recommendations
The Cowen Institute and the Center for Urban and Public Affairs at the University of New Orleans hosted a summit on school siting to help people think more holistically about school siting because many interests can be served at once by good siting decisions. This summit was part of a grant under the “Helping Johnny Walk to School: Sustaining Communities through Smart School Policy” program.
History of School Facilities Legislation
Updated July 2010
This document is a timeline of school facilities legislation and legislative activity in Louisiana since 2007.
The State of Public Education in New Orleans
These publications are part of a series that the Cowen Institute produces on a regular basis about the state of public education in New Orleans. The reports include a comprehensive description of the current system, including information specific to school facilities.
- 2012 State of Public Education in New Orleans July 2012
- 2011 State of Public Education in New Orleans July 2011
- The State of Public Education in New Orleans: School Finances March 2011
- The State of Public Education in New Orleans: School Facilities December 2010
- The State of Public Education in New Orleans: Five Years After Hurricane Katrina July 2010
- 2010 State of Public Education in New Orleans March 2010
- Public School Performance in New Orleans, A Supplement to the 2008 State of Public Education in New Orleans January 2009
- 2008 State of Public Education in New Orleans April 2008
- 2007 State of Public Education in New Orleans April 2007
- OPSB Needs to Work with RSD on NMTCs 2/20/2013
- RSD Facility Assignments: Third Time’s the Charm 12/1/2011
- Don’t Bet on Bonds for School Facilities 9/2/2011
- Major Amendments to the Master Plan Proposed 7/1/2011
- Recapping the fifth RSD facilities assignment meeting 2/2/2011
- Recapping the RSD’s Fourth Public Meeting on School Facility Assignments 1/26/2011
- RSD Holds Third Public Meeting on School Building Assignments 1/19/2011
- Recap of the RSD’s Second Public Meeting on School Building Assignments 1/13/2011
- Notes on the RSD’s First Public Meeting on School Building Assignments 1/7/2011
- The Latest on School Facility Assignments 1/4/2011
- School Facilities Assignments: The Devil’s in the Details 9/11/2010
- School Siting Summit Begins the Conversation! 7/28/2010
- NBC’s School Pride Comes to Louisiana 7/15/2010
- Fingers Crossed on School Building Assignments 7/8/2010
- Facilities Bill Part 2: Jindal Disappoints Louisiana’s Children 7/7/2010
- Facilities Bill Part 1: Legislature Steps Up! 6/24/2010
- Why the Louisiana Statewide Education Facilities Authority Legislation is Important 4/30/2010
- Idea for Louisiana school-building authority flops Times-Picayune, 4/12/2012
- New Orleans business, civic groups say school master plan should go ‘back to drawing board’ City Business, 9/1/2011
- Business, nonprofit leaders blast plan for rebuilding New Orleans school facilities Times-Picayune, 9/1/2011
- RSD Engages Public on School Facilities Master Plan WWNO, 1/27/2011
- Editorial: Give ‘em your two cents Times-Picayune, 1/2/2011
- New Orleans Public School Construction is Booming Times-Picayune, 12/20/2010
- New Orleans in Early Phase of School-Building Boom Education Week, 10/15/2010
- New Orleans schools have chance to become center of their communities Times-Picayune, 11/5/2010
- Schools inspector general will watch over $1.8 billion FEMA grant spending Times-Picayune, 9/19/2010
- New Orleans schools have chance to become centers of their communities Times-Picayune, 9/5/2010
- Finally, FEMA will pay up: A letter to the editor Times-Picayune, 9/1/2010
- New Orleans public schools assessment 5 years after Hurricane Katrina Times-Picayune, 7/30/2010
- Need open process for picking school locations: A letter to the editor Times-Picayune, 5/31/2010
- New Orleans Legislator Tours Lafayette Schools KATC Acadiana-Lafayette, 11/12/2009
- School construction oversight panel is an unfulfilled promise Times-Picayune, 9/30/2009
- Game plan for building N.O. schools questioned Times-Picayune, 10/15/2008
- Senator Cheryl Gray and Representative Karen Carter Peterson Embark on Statewide Facilities Tour Times-Picayune, 10/1/2008
- Rebuilding New Orleans Schools
- National Clearing House for Educational Facilities
- 21st Century School Fund