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Orleans Parish School Board

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Chief Operations Officer
Orleans Parish School Board
New Orleans, Louisiana


The Position

The Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) manages financial functions, capital projects and facilities, as well as grants administration and compliance. Finance functions include accounts payable, accounts receivable, special revenue, payroll, purchasing, budget, cash/investment management, and financial reporting. The COO will report to the Superintendent, be a member of his cabinet, and work closely with the Senior Chief Administrative Officer.

The COO is also charged with restructuring the district’s budgeting function and other mission-critical elements of the Central Office to better function as a unique school system. The department’s goal is to manage the district’s finances for transparency and accountability.

The COO has seven direct reports:  the executive director of procurement, the assistant controller, and the directors of budget, facilities, federal grants, external grants and special revenue.

The Organization

The Orleans Parish School Board is governed by a seven-member board, has 600 employees, and is the constitutionally-designated taxing and bonding authority for public education and the historic, geographic Local Education Authority for public schools in Orleans Parish. It is a premier portfolio school district that values excellence, choice, autonomy, accountability, and public engagement. This strategy puts educators directly in charge of their schools, empowers parents to choose the right schools for their children, and focuses school system leaders on overseeing school success.

The district comprises six network schools and 18 charter schools. About 90% of the students attending public schools in Orleans Parish attend charter schools.

The Orleans Parish School Board is committed to creating the nation’s best school system by using creative, innovative 21st century programs to produce graduates of unparalleled quality, thereby improving the lives of students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The board’s mission is to provide quality learning environments that promote academic excellence and engage the family and community in the support of student achievement.
The Board’s strategic priorities are Student Achievement, Community and Public Relations, Governance, Organization Structure, and Operations and Finance. More specifically, the Board wants Operations and Finance that facilitate:

  • Student-based funding
  • Transparent district and school-level budgets
  • Maximum of resources allocated to schools
  • Responsible stewardship of public resources

The Orleans Parish School Board FY2016 total budget is about $315 million. Of that $52,599,273 comprises the General Fund. The department has received six years of unqualified opinions on its financials.

Expense Category
Purchased Services $183,852,789
Salaries $80,210,940
Employee Benefits $31,466,150
Purchased Property Services $8,603,140
Supplies $6,815,025
Property $4,133,918
Total $315,081,962

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina damaged or destroyed more than 100 of the district’s 128 school buildings. While the OPSB had 60,000 students before Hurricane Katrina, it lost many students. However, it has been rebuilding and now has 45,000 students. Enrollment in the OPSB continues to grow beyond forecasts. As such, there are increased costs for teachers’ salaries and benefits and student transportation. There has been minimal growth in per pupil funding, reductions in state grants, and a shifting in state funding from state to local revenues for several programs. OPSB has been successful in securing grants from the Kellogg Foundation, 21st Century, Innovative Approaches to Literacy, School Transformation Climate, and Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy.

The OPSB has also secured a significant amount of federal funding to rebuild schools. It has been working closely with the Recovery School District (RSD), which was formed by the state to oversee school enrollment and other operational functions of charter schools in the district. It is expected for the OPSB to absorb the functions of the RSD in the next two to three years, which will occur with action by the state legislature.


Minimum requirements for this position are a bachelor’s degree, 5-7 years of public sector management experience, strong project management skills. Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, experience as a chief operating or financial officer, with an emphasis on strategic planning, grants, intergovernmental relations, and financing and managing facilities. The successful candidate must acquire Certified Louisiana School Business Administrator certification by the Louisiana Association of School Business Officials within seven years of the date of hire. CPA and school district experience is not required.


The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be a professional with a solid budget background who has successfully led divisions or departments in organizations with strong leadership and fairness. This person will bring fresh ideas, knowledge of best practices, and be able to assess and improve work processes. The ideal Chief Operations Officer will demonstrate patience, humility, and a sense of humor. This candidate will be a strategic thinker who can work independently. This person will have personal integrity and will foster an ethical workforce. The COO will be an excellent communicator, with an ability to articulate complex topics in an understandable way to a variety of audiences. The ideal person will be effective at building relationships with other partners and work well government at all levels. The ideal COO will be committed to professional development, goal-setting, and performance accountability for all employees.


Every Child, Every School, Every Day!

OPSB Strategic Goals and Priorities

  • Build an infrastructure that transforms the New Orleans Public School System into a world-class education system.
  • Dedicate maximum resources to classrooms so that Orleans Parish Schools will become a leader in educational innovation.
  • Ensure that all schools and school children are in safe and disciplined environments.
  • Provide diverse, excellent academic opportunities for all city children and open options and choice for all students.
  • Develop a stringent accountability system to hold people responsible for performance.
  • Develop mechanisms to attract, train, promote, honor, and retain quality educators who put children first.
  • Ensure fiscal solvency and assure maximum educational funding.
  • Maintain effective communication among school board members and administration setting a tone of mutual respect.
  • Achieve High (Improve) student retention rates.
  • Provide world-class facilities and technology.
  • Establish productive working relationships with state and city leaders.
  • Maintain an effective high quality administration while establishing long-range operational plans for administration.
  • Support and monitor the effectiveness of charter schools under the aegis of the school board, and ensure good customer service toward:
    • Academic Excellence on the state accountability system
    • Quality financial auditing
    • Basic personnel qualifications
    • Compliance with state requirements


The expected hiring salary range is $120,000 – $145,000, depending on qualifications with an excellent benefit package.

How to Apply

Apply Online

This position has been filled and is no longer available.

Thank you for your interest.

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Apply online at and include a single document with cover letter, resume with salary history, and list of 3-5 professional references (submit one Word or PDF document please). Application materials are subject to disclosure under Louisiana public records laws. Open until filled with first review of applications May 25, 2016. Just click the button to get started.


Questions should be directed to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 240-832-1778.

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