Thursday, May 3, 2012

American Press: Leave LA school districts alone

Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, and Sen. Bodi White, R-Baton Rouge, are sponsoring legislation that would drastically change the Legislature’s authority to “create parish school boards...”

The bills would delete the word “parish” and replace it with “create local public schools...."

Desegregation changed the face of education in Louisiana and in the rest of the country, and that is one of the reasons cities and parts of some parishes want to form their own school districts.

"What we are doing with this legislation is appeasing 15 percent to the peril of the remaining 85 percent," (Domoine Rutledge, general counsel for the EBR school system) said.

Opponents of the bill said the new district would siphon funds away from some of the neediest, most at-risk public schools.

Bernard Taylor, the incoming superintendent for the EBR system, said, “You’ve got to look at the whole. When you start leaving children behind and start creating education safety zones, what happens when you don’t live in the most attractive neighborhoods?”

The Louisiana education establishment has had enough reform for the time being. Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Legislature have created student vouchers to help pay tuition at non-public schools, made it easier to create charter schools, diminished the power of local school boards, drastically overhauled the teacher tenure program, given rebates to individuals and corporations that donate funds for scholarships and established a new teacher evaluation system.

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