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EBR School Board votes to keep Lab Academy open

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Posted: Apr 21, 2011 5:37 PM by Russell Jones, Kristy Davis
Updated: Apr 21, 2011 7:20 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: baton rouge, budget, school, cuts, teachers, lab, shortfall, wbrz, louisiana

UPDATE 6:40 p.m. - The school board has voted to keep EBR Lab Academy at Istrouma High open. We'll have more details live at 10 p.m.

BATON ROUGE - Many items, including an entire school, are on the chopping block at tonight's East Baton Rouge Parish School Board meeting.

Board members are trying to find a way to close a $39 million budget hole, with recommendations that include not filling vacant positions and closing some facilities.

The most controversial suggestion is shuttering the EBR Laboratory School, which has seen declining test scores since it opened in 2007. School spokesperson Chris Trahan said another reason for the consideration is there are only 277 students at the school, which has a capacity for 400.

Superintendent John Dilworth also expressed concerns about the school's overlap with Istrouma High. Both schools are on the same campus, but have different principals, counselors and other staff members. Dilworth has said consolidating the two schools could cut a lot of overhead costs.

If the board can't agree on consolidating the schools, the EBR Lab School could be shut down completely. The students would then be re-assigned to other schools based on where they live.

Also on the agenda, the school board has already warned around 6,000 school workers their jobs could be in jeopardy and the board could make the final decision on which positions could be cut. Eliminating vacant positions is an option on the table district-wide, which could save teacher's jobs but lead to larger classroom sizes.

News 2 will have more on the board's decisions live at 6 and 10 tonight.

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