Hammond council endorses creating charter school

The City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution supporting creation of Tangi Academy, a proposed charter school that could eventually open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Residents Anthony Maska and Lisa Proffit-Rau, proponents of the school, both sought a resolution of support at the council’s meeting two weeks ago but were asked to provide the council with more details about the proposed school.

Maska explained in an interview after the council meeting that Tangi Academy will be located on the campus of the African-American Heritage Museum on Phoenix Square in Hammond. The museum is housed in part of what was an elementary school and numerous classrooms are available at the site.

Proponents of the charter school plan to meet with the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education next week to seek final approval for the school, Maska said.

He said he’s confident the school will win BESE approval. An official date for the school’s opening will be announced pending final approval from the state.

Maska said the school’s planners anticipate an initial enrollment of 190-200 students. The school will be funded through the state’s Minimum Funding Program. The MFP money follows the student, Maska said.

The Tangi Academy organization sought a resolution of support from the Tangipahoa Parish School Board earlier, Maska said, but the request was denied primarily for financial reasons.

In other matters Tuesday, Mayor Mayson Foster said he is ready to present a budget for fiscal year 2013-14 to the council. Foster said the budget will be set at about $39 million. The council set budget hearings for 9 a.m. June 6 in the Council Chambers.

Foster also announced the city’s annual fireworks show will be presented at Zemurray Park on July 3.

For the first time in many years, a July 4 celebration will be held in Historic Downtown Hammond, Foster said. The celebration, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., will feature music, food, games and patriotic observances.