New strategy for breakaway schools: create new town
BATON ROUGE - Legislators and citizens have been fighting 'for' and 'against' a breakaway school district in East Baton Rouge for two years. The group Local Schools for Local children, which favors the new district, is now thinking about creating a new town to up its chances of success.
"Some legislators that kept saying repeatedly, you're not a city, you're not a city," said Local Schools for Local Children spokesperson Norman Browning.
The original breakaway school district would include the southeast part of the parish boarded by I10 and I12. Browning says that if all the unincorporated area turned into a town, it would be 110,000 strong. Browning says that incorporating means, applying with the Louisiana Secretary of State, collecting the signatures of 25 percent of registered voters, a pass by the governor's desk and then it would have to go to voters.
"I'd hate to do that but if that's what it takes, then I guess I'm on board," said resident Kathy Chamberlain.
The group that opposes the new district says, a new town would only mean more problems.
"I think that the argument is much bigger than just education," said One Community One School spokesperson Todd McCoy. "But as far as education I don't think it changes anything other than weakening one system and creating a smaller system that we don't feel serves the interest of all the kids."
Browning says Local Schools for Local Children plan to take the summer months to reach out and educate the people of the unincorporated areas about what it takes to create a new city.