SUNO Turns Finances Around, No Longer On Probation

Southern University at New Orleans recently announced that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), has removed the University from probation.

“SUNO has been a beacon of hope for students from diverse backgrounds for more than 60 years,” Ammons said. “This decision serves to acknowledge the tremendous value SUNO adds to the New Orleans community and its potential for even greater contributions in the future.”

“This is great news,” said James H. Ammons, Jr., Interim Chancellor of SUNO. “The institution could not have achieved this remarkable turnaround and reached compliance without the cooperation and support of every component of what I call, the ‘SUNO Village.’”

The decision by SACSCOC was based on a cumulative review of the University’s past financial performance, as well as this year’s balanced budget, sound financial resources, and a demonstrated stable financial base to support the mission of the institution, according to a statement released by the University.

In June 2019, the SACSCOC Board of Trustees placed SUNO on probation for financial issues. 

To address the issues cited by SACSCOC, SUNO assembled an administrative team that was committed to sound financial planning and management. A plan was developed and implemented to address the root cause of the deficiencies and cut costs. This resulted in the $7.7 million deficit being eliminated, the current fiscal year budget being balanced and the financial base of the institution being stabilized. 

Fundraising and advancement efforts have also been enhanced with a focus on alumni and community organizations to provide continued support for student scholarships. 

In-Person School Returns for Youngest Students

Postponed by a few days as officials monitored storms headed for the Gulf Coast, in-person learning returned to NOLA Public Schools in mid-September for Pre-K through 4th grade students  

Students in fifth through 12th grades will be given the option to return to the classroom at least twice a week by October.

“We are focusing on a small subset of our students and we are again prioritizing our little ones, who have the most to gain both academically and emotionally from in-person learning.”

School officials have been preparing for the return of in-person learning, using the “Roadmap to Reopening”, a set of guidelines that outline the district’s reopening plan.

As a part of this plan, the district will implement a program to make COVID-19 testing convenient and accessible for its students and staff by teaming up with local healthcare facilities. Lewis has also said that adjustments to the reopening plan will be made should coronavirus data, such as a rise in cases among students, teachers or staff, occur.

All students and their parents have the option to continue learning remotely.

Mayor Cantrell addressed the news of Gov. John Bel Edwards announcement that Louisiana will move into Phase Three of its reopening at the end of day Friday, Sept. 11, saying that the city of New Orleans will remain in Phase Two.

Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families Announces Fall Session for New Orleans Parent Leadership Institute 

The Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families is excited to announce the launch of the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) fall session. PLTI is a free program seeking to enable parents to become better leading advocates for children. This program helps parents develop the civic skills necessary to connect with government, analyze critical issues and bring about change.

Parent leaders participate in an intensive and rewarding 20-week course that includes courses such as “Parents as Change Agents,” “The Life Cycle of a Child and the Functions of the Family,” “How the City Works,” and “Municipal Budgeting.”

“Now more than ever it is so important for parents to have a platform for their voices to be amplified,” said Emily Wolff, Director, Office of Youth and Families. “We are excited to welcome this next group of parent leaders into the PLTI family and equip them with the tools and network to bring about change that is urgently needed in our community.”

NOLA_PLTI is committed to language justice and will provide interpretation services. Additionally, the class will be conducted virtually until further notice, and technology assistance will be provided to those who request it. The session begins Oct. 17, 2020, and will run until April 13, 2021. Deadline for registration is Oct. 2.

Interested parents may apply at

A Taste of PLTI Information sessions via Zoom will take place on Friday, Sept. 18, from 6 p.m.-7:45 p.m. and Sept. 26 from 10 a.m.-11:45 a.m. You must register for the information sessions by filling out this form in order to receive the Zoom link.

To register by phone for A Taste of PLTI or for more information, please contact Mischell Davis via phone at 504-231-8485 or via email at

More than a Dozen Businesses Celebrate Ribbon Cutting at New Orleans East’s Executive Plaza

Business owners, community leaders, and elected officials gathered on Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Executive Plaza in New Orleans East for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for 15 businesses–most of them new, and others rebranding.

Organizers say the event was planned months ago, but it was postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

District E Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen was on hand to congratulate the new business tenants and to thank those business owners for their commitment to New Orleans East.

“I think it is a great start and I hope that today’s (ribbon cutting) event is going to entice more people to invest in the East,” said Nguyen. “The Executive Plaza is currently home to 48 businesses, including personal care and health services, financial and legal services, non-profit and communications services, and a variety of others. It shows that even through the challenges of the last few months, District E is still moving forward.”

The new businesses that received plaudits for their openings were: ReNEW Schools, WIC New Orleans East Program, Acceptable Health Services, Loan Fox, Styled by Sharell, ConsultED New Orleans, Jupiter Tax Services, Knight CPA Services, Full Circle Consulting Group, Frazier-Santiago Law & Title, Arie’s Artistry, NOLA Skyline Event Center, Executive Suites, Skyline Studios, and BAMM Communications.

Elder Anna Bechet of Loan Fox, the longest-tenured tenant at the Plaza served as the guest speaker for the event. Her theme, “We Shall Recover It All”, seemed especially suited to encourage businesses and residents in New Orleans East.

One of the areas of the city hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, the East’s. recovery has moved at a snail’s space compared to other areas of the city and region.

“It takes teamwork to recover it all,” Bechet told the group. “We need . . . to change the atmosphere of our city. The only way you can do that–and I’m not a politician–but I know we need to vote, and I know we need to know who we are voting for. I think the East can come together.” 

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