Voter's Guide, 2020 Fall Elections, New Orleans
NameKatherine Baudouin

Campaign Information

Campaign Web Site

Bio Information

Party AffiliationDemocrat
ProfessionPublic Service
Present Employer / positionPolicy Analyst/Land Use Director, Councilmember Joe Giarrusso
Length of residence in Jurisdiction
List of educational institutions and degreesLOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
Master of Public Administration: Public Policy

Bachelor of Arts: Sociology, History
Prior elected and appointed positionsOffice of Councilmember Stacy S. Head
Policy Analyst/Special Projects August 2016 – May 2018
• Directed all official communication and served as primary point of contact for media.
• Collaborated with administration and other council offices to implement council-wide policy and strategic initiatives.

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
Medicaid Program Manager February 2014 – May 2015
• Assisted with the development of clinical quality improvement priorities for Louisiana Medicaid.
• Directed the development and management of requests for proposals and contracts.

National Academy for State Health Policy
Policy Specialist September 2011 – January 2014
• Provided policy analysis and coalition building support to state Medicaid and CHIP programs participating in the Maximizing Enrollment program.

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
Medicaid Program Manager July 2009 – September 2011
• Served as lead for Louisiana Medicaid eligibility-related programs.
• Supervised the work of staff and managed an annual budget of approximately $1.5 Million for the Maximizing Enrollment program.

Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations
Public Policy Director, Coordinator September 2004 – August 2007
• Served as a resource to nonprofits, media, and government officials on policy issues and legislation affecting nonprofit organizations.
• Assisted in developing strategic initiatives such as the Louisiana Budget Project.
Civic involvement and affiliationsMember, Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee
Member, Independent Women's Organization
Past President, Touro Bouligny Neighborhood Association
Alumna, Emerge Louisiana

Questions specific to the position

1. Describe your view about school board oversight of charter schools. What changes do you believe are needed to improve performance? The administration should be monitoring and providing feedback to schools/charter Boards about their performance throughout the length of the charter agreement, not just at the time of reauthorization. This transparency will allow charter Boards to make adjustments and help the District identify and connect struggling schools with additional resources. No child should have to attend a chronically failing school. Using the system described above, the Superintendent and OPSB should be able to, in collaboration with school leadership, identify which schools are failing and why. If intervention has not produced results, I would support options such as transferring a failing school to a different operator. For this option to be viable, the system needs more charter operators with a clear track record of success that are prepared and willing to take over the management of a failing school. At the same time, the District needs to build its own capacity to run a school directly if there is not a quality organization to take it over. Closure should remain an option of last resort.
2. What is your vision and three top priorities for NOLA-PS for the next five years? What obstacles do you foresee and what steps will you implement to overcome them? My vision for the next five years is to bring all schools up to a high level of educational quality so that all students have the opportunity to attend a high performance school. To accomplish this, we will have to ensure that current and new school operators have a track record of success. As your board member, I will:

• Provide regular evaluation and oversight to the OPSB budget to make sure we spend tax dollars efficiently.
• Support programs that are designed to train and retain excellent teachers and principals.
• Build partnerships between schools and early childhood programs to prepare students for graduation, college and the workforce.

Schools will need to measure the learning lost over the spring and summer and adjust in such a way that those gaps are filled in and students are able to continue progressing through this school year. The District needs to work with schools to ensure that students and families have adequate internet and device access, and training on how to best use new technologies as needed. Additionally, schools must have plans in place to support teachers as they create adaptable lesson plans. The District can also play a critical role in promoting best practices in collaboration with schools to maximize both learning and student, staff, and faculty safety.
3. In the Accountability Framework, there is no indication of any input from faculty members. What are your thoughts about giving teachers more input to decide how their performance is judged? There is no more important asset in our public school system than teachers and NOLA-PS should provide them ample opportunities to provide input. I value the experience of our teachers and would seek out their voices for many decisions, including performance evaluation.
4. What approaches will you implement to ensure that the needs of special education students are fully met? The District has made huge steps forward with differentiated funding. Equity is important in everything we do. One way to ensure the needs of students with special needs are met, we should invite and work out cooperative agreements and endeavors with healthcare and social service providers so resources are in the schools to help our children get the help they need to be productive learners. Poverty is the number one obstacle to overcoming inequity, especially in this area. I know special education is critical and we have to improve and expand the successful programs we have. No good idea is off the table with me.
5. Last year some students were unable to graduate because of improper management of graduation requirements by school administrators. Do you think these issues could happen again and, if so, what steps would you like to see implemented to prevent this? We, like many other school systems across the country, have issues with accountability, transportation, transparency and special education—and those needs to be addressed. We can’t just live on what was or how far we have come. We have to deal with the right now and plan better for the future. I hope we never again see a group of adults jeopardize students’ futures for their own benefit. To ensure it doesn’t reoccur we must implement a system for training school leaders and board members in their legal and fiscal responsibilities to their students.

But ultimately, what happened at Kennedy was the result of a few bad actors within that individual school site. Because of what these people did, the CMO is no longer in operation. I think it’s imperative we provide every resource and support needed so that every school leader, teacher, and support staff can thrive, while holding them to the strictest of accountability measures, including audits of student grading in schools throughout the system.