by Elizabeth K. Jeffers
Leslie Rosenthal-Jacobs, who served on state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) for 12 years and was an elected Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) member, was instrumental in passing the constitutional amendment that created the Recover School District. Jacobs is the founder of the non-profit, Educate Now!, whose mission is “dedicated to effective and sustainable reform of New Orleans public schools.”
While a BESE member, Jacobs initiated resolutions friendly to Teach for America. For example, she introduced the motion to allocate FEMA Restart funds to provide out-of-state teachers with more than $17,000 in relocation and housing expenses to teach in the Recovery School District. Wendy Kopp listed Jacobs as number five (5) of the “World’s 7 Most Powerful Educators”. Jacobs recruited KIPP to come to New Orleans. It should not come as a surprise that she sits on the following board: TFA GNO/Delta Louisiana Regional, New Orleans Start Up Fund, Business Council of New Orleans, New Orleans Business Alliance and Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Stephen Rosenthal, Leslie’s brother, serves as treasurer for both FirstLine Schools’ board and KIPP New Orleans’ board. Rosenthal also serves as the chairperson for the New Schools for New Orleans board and the Collegiate Academies board.