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Support growing for breakaway school district

3 years ago February 09, 2012 Feb 9, 2012 Thursday, February 09 2012 Thursday, February 09, 2012 4:14:42 PM CST in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Olivia LaBorde

BATON ROUGE - A day after the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board bitterly voted 6-5 not to appoint an interim superintendent, a large part of the parish is considering breaking away from the school system all together.

State Senator Bodi White is spearheading the push to create the new school district in the Shenandoah area.  White detailed the plans at a meeting of business owners earlier today.

"The bill would be presented in the Senate in March," he said.  "If I could get two- thirds of the vote there, then it could would go to the House. We would need to have a constitutional amendment to make this happen."

David Deitch was at the meeting. He told News 2,  "I have a child right now that's at Woodlawn Elementary. I think it's a great school but there's certainly room for improvement."

He's not alone. It's no secret the second-largest school district in the state has had some problems; including failing scores in some schools and low graduation rates in others.

Norman Brown from Local Schools for Local Children is working with White on the proposal. He said they're using Central and Zachary as models for the new school system. Both left the EBR School system, and both are now rated as some of the top schools in the state.

Brown says, "It's not abandonment. It's creating smaller school districts which creates better peformance."

If White's bill passes in March it will go on the ballot in October for voters to decide the next step.

There will be another informational meeting about the proposal at Woodlawn Baptist Church on February 21st at 6:30pm. Parents are urged to attend.

The schools included in the proposal are :

Woodlawn High School
Woodlawn Middle School
Southeast Elementary
Wedgewood Elementary
Westminster Elementary
Shenandoah Elementary
Woodlawn Elementary
Parkview Elementary
Jefferson Terrace elementary

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