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Revamp of EBR schools bill fails

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BATON ROUGE - A measure to change the way schools are governed in East Baton Rouge Parish died today in the Legislature.

Opponents showed up in force inside the Capitol, to fight the bill that looks to give principals in East Baton Rouge Parish schools more power.

"This bill is more than principals," said the bill's co-sponsor Rep. Stephen Carter (R-Baton Rouge). "It establishes enrollment zones, community school councils, community academic coordinators."

The bill would've granted principals with powers to create their own budgets, curriculums, put them in charge of things such as hiring and firing.

"That's unfair to principals to try to change entire livelihood on what they do as instructional leaders in a classroom and not even bring them to the table to have a discussion with them," said Rep. Pat Smith (D-Baton Rouge).

The bill was supported by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. Some Baton Rouge representatives said the bill is misguided and was pushed through without even consulting those who it would affect most.

"They (BRAC) support a bill to change the entire EBR school system, but hadn't even visited a school in EBR system," said Rep. Alfred Williams (D-Baton Rouge).

The bill had cleared the Senate and a House Committee. Today's vote would've been its last stop.




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