Tulane Receives a $1 Million Surprise to Help New Orleans Public Schools

December 8, 2006

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

Tulane University has received a $1 million gift from the Lavin Family Foundation to establish the Scott Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives. The gift was announced unexpectedly by Carol Lavin Bernick Dec. 6 as she helped dedicate the new Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life at Tulane University.

The Scott Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives will give New Orleans public schools access to Tulane's resources. It will coordinate all of the efforts in public education that are occurring within Tulane University and partner with education, business, non-profit and civic organizations to establish safe, highly effective public schools for the city's youth. The institute's staff will be responsible for supporting a network of local charter schools while continuously assessing the needs of the entire system of schools in Orleans Parish.

"This sits at the heart of what our family wants to accomplish and what Scott Cowen wants to achieve," Bernick said, in making the announcement. She cited Cowen's "passion, effort, commitment and heart" in working on behalf of public education.

Tulane will invite independently-operated charter schools to become part of a Charter School Resource Network. Collaboration with these schools might include sharing library and information technology resources with Tulane, teacher training or piggybacking on university contracts to save money on meal plans and textbook purchases.

Member schools will also benefit from Tulane's access to national and international experts, who will be tapped to find innovative approaches to solving member school problems.

The institute will create the Public Education Service Corps which will marshal Tulane student volunteers for public schools in projects ranging from paint rallies to reading programs to assisting with the launch of a school's capital campaign.

In addition, the institute will serve as the coordinator of a consortium of local, non-profit, non- governmental organizations that are currently serving the K-12 education system. Such coordination will assure no duplication or gaps in service.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000