One group withdraws charter application for Ascension; one remains

Second applicant to present proposal

The Ascension Parish School Board learned on Sunday night that the organizers of a potential charter school have withdrawn their application for now, leaving only one applicant to make a presentation before the board.

The news came before a public hearing on charter school applications set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the School Board offices in Donaldsonville. Presently, there are no charter schools in Ascension Parish.

The proposed charter school, the R. Rayborn Charter School, had been denied its first application in January by the School Board, after the board’s consultant, Kimberly Williams of New Millennium Education, told the board the school’s application was missing information in several areas.

In August, backers of the school said they had reorganized and were applying again.

The proposed school has a board, and Eartha Rayborn, a retired teacher, principal and administrator with the Ascension school system, would be the lead educator.

On Monday, Rayborn said she and board members had no comment about the withdrawal.

When the next cycle of charter applications will begin will be decided this week by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Williams said.

The remaining applicant is Dumaka Moultrie of Atlanta, who has applied to form a charter school called the Life Preparatory Academy.

Moultrie has an undergraduate degree in political science from Savannah State University and a master’s degree in teaching from Mercer University in Macon, Ga., as well as a master’s degree in education from Columbia University in New York.

Reached by phone on Monday, Moultrie said he also was part of a Columbia leadership academy held at Tulane this past summer.

Moultrie said he applied for and received a $190,000 grant from the Louisiana Department of Education’s “Believe and Succeed” program, to found a charter school in a parish with low-performing schools and has looked at three, specifically, Ascension, Tangipahoa and St. John the Baptist.

Williams will be making a presentation about Moultrie’s charter school application at the Tuesday public hearing.