As a citizen of southeast East Baton Rouge Parish and a parent of five daughters who have all attended EBR Parish public schools, I am extremely concerned about the effort to carve out yet another school district from the EBR Parish School District. Thus, I read with interest The Advocate’s position in opposition to Senate bills 299 and 563. Three of my daughters have graduated from McKinley and one more will graduate from McKinley next week (all in the gifted and/or talented programs) and my youngest daughter is a freshman at Baton Rouge High School. Our daughters also attended a variety of both neighborhood and gifted/talented/magnet elementary and middle schools (special thanks to BRCVPA).
It is unquestionable that the choices we have had to send our daughters to schools throughout the district have been critical to their academic success. If the new district becomes a reality, it is my understanding that my youngest daughter would no longer be allowed to attend Baton Rough High School
Aside from my personal reasons for being opposed to passage of SB299 and SB563, I do not see how pulling resources from an already struggling school system will result in improvements to failing schools. It seems to me to be a recipe for continued decline and will further create a segregated public school system in the parish — one based upon race and economic condition. A viable public school system is critical to a community’s future and we seem poised to inflict yet another harmful blow to what remains of the EBR Parish school system.
My emails to Sen. Mack “Bodi” White and Rep. Hunter Greene, who represent my neighborhood, have thus far gone unanswered. I assume the lack of response was because I did not agree with the “vast majority” of residents within the proposed district that I keep reading about. My conversations with many people who live in this area indicate that assertion is not accurate. I urge all residents of East Baton Rouge Parish to demonstrate their support for a diverse, successful public school system by contacting their representatives and encouraging them to vote no on SB299 and SB563.