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NSBR Announces $1 Million Investment in Democracy Prep

Baton Rouge, LA. (Dec. 10, 2014) –New Schools for Baton Rouge (NSBR) announced today that it is investing $1 million in Democracy Prep Public Schools (DPPS) from its Excellence Fund to launch Democracy Prep Baton Rouge. DPPS plans to open three campuses in Baton Rouge, ultimately serving almost 1,500 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. NSBR’s board voted to make the investment at their December 9 board meeting after reviewing DPPS’ leadership, plans for transformative change, growth plan, and plans to engage the local community.

“Our partnership with Democracy Prep is a huge step forward in delivering excellent educational options to students of North Baton Rouge,” said Chris Meyer, CEO of NSBR. “Their schools have made significant accomplishments in recent years, and we are excited to support them with opening a school in Baton Rouge. In 2012, Harlem Prep became the most successful turnaround public school in New York’s history, surging from the third percentile to the 96th percentile in its first year as a Democracy Prep school.”

“We are grateful to have NSBR as a partner in bringing the Democracy Prep model to students in Baton Rouge,” said Michelle Gieg, Executive Director of Democracy Prep Baton Rouge. “The students of Baton Rouge have waited too long for equal access to an excellent school and I am thrilled to meet our inaugural classes of students in the coming months.”

DPPS is a growing network of free, open-enrollment, high-performing, no excuses public charter schools that share a goal of ensuring that all scholars “Work Hard, Go to College, and Change the World.” Currently, DPPS serves more than 4,000 students at campuses in Harlem and the Bronx, N.Y., Camden, N.J., and Washington, D.C.

NSBR’s Excellence Fund is a collection of local and national resources to catalyze the transformation of schools in Baton Rouge. NSBR’s top priority is to support the expansion of proven, high-performing schools by investing exclusively in organizations that have track records of success, a transformational school model, and a commitment to the Baton Rouge community.

New Schools for Baton Rouge’s Board of Directors are:

  • Jennifer Eplett Reilly, City Year, Chair
  • Preston J. Castille, Jr., Taylor Porter Attorneys at Law, Vice Chair
  • Brian Haymon, SGS Petroleum Service Corporation, Secretary
  • John Spain, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Treasurer
  • S. Dennis Blunt, Phelps Dunbar LLP
  • Lane Grigsby, Cajun Industries LLC
  • Jody Montelaro, Entergy Louisiana
  • Adam Knapp, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  • Mary Ann Sternberg, Louisiana State University
  • Rev. Lee Wesley, Community Bible Baptist Church

About New Schools for Baton Rouge

New Schools for Baton Rouge (NSBR) is a community partnership bringing together talent and resources to deliver excellent schools to students and families in Baton Rouge. Its mission is to ensure that every child in Baton Rouge has access to an excellent school. By 2017, NSBR will improve educational outcomes for 12,000 students in the city’s highest-need neighborhoods.

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