Baton Rouge Groups Push for New School Districts
Following the action in Baton Rouge of the effort to change the State Constitutional requirements to effect school district modifications for ISD and Charter Schools, Senate Bill 305 is a crucial component of the current legislative maneuvering.
Here are key locations that Caddo Parish educators and parents should keep at their finger tips:
Baton Rouge Business Report: While State Sen. Bodi White, R-Central, already has filed legislation to remove the southeastern part of East Baton Rouge Parish from the parish school system, at least one other group in the same region has made it known its members would like to break away. Representatives of Baton Rouge Neighborhood Schools are not yet talking publicly, but the group’s Facebook page says they’re interested in a broad swath of the southern part of the parish, including Baton Rouge Magnet High School in Mid City as well as other magnet schools and self-contained gifted programs. The group hopes to release details, including the exact line of demarcation, later this week. Norman Browning, president of Local Schools for Local Children, which supports the southeastern breakaway district, says he met with Baton Rouge Neighborhood Schools representatives and initially came away with the impression that they essentially wanted to cut the parish district in half. “That would be too large,” Browning says. “You lose the benefit of being able to move quickly on things.” He says members of the two groups later discussed working together, pushing two separate districts instead of competing districts, and Browning says he remains open to that idea. State Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, says he advised Baton Rouge Neighborhood Schools representatives to meet with Browning’s group. “I’m certainly willing to listen [to both groups],” Claitor says. “I want a well-thought out, well-reasoned plan.” Creating a new school district currently requires a constitutional amendment, although White’s Senate Bill 305 would streamline the process and allow the Legislature to create new districts by statute. —David Jacobs