Proposed breakaway school district gets another victory at Capitol

Map of proposed breakaway school district
Map of proposed breakaway school district

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Those supporting the proposed breakaway Southeast Baton Rouge School District get another victory at the State Capitol as two Senate bills move to the House.

The bills introduced by Senator Bodi White of Baton Rouge would create a new district from the East Baton Rouge System and call for a public, state wide vote on the issue. After clearing the Senate last week, the House Education Committee was the next hurdle.

For more than two hours, passionate testimony was presented by those opposed to a new Southeast Baton Rouge School District and those in support. Members of the East Baton Rouge School System detailed how the departure of the 10 schools in the proposed district would leave a $60 million hole in EBR's current school budget.

They also questioned how the boundaries would be created and whether it was racially motivated.

Those in support of the breakaway cited years of poor performance results as among the primary reasons they believe it is time for a change.

"It's immoral for a district to move students as pawns forcing them to leave their schools and attend failing schools so they can improve grades to avoid schools taken away from them," said Norman Browning, president of Local Schools for Local Children.

"We all sit at the table and look at how it impacts the entire parish and how we can get the best bang for the buck, but also the best for each kid, rather than create an atmosphere of segregation," said Representative Alfred Williams, (D) Baton Rouge.

The bills passed through the Education Committee by a vote of 10 to 6 and moved forward.

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