With a Wealthy, Mostly White Suburbs Vote to Withdraw, East Baton Rouge Schools a Step Closer to Fourth School Secession

EduClips: From Virginia Lawsuits Over Secluding Kids to New SCOTUS Briefs Advocating for DACA Students and Teachers, News You Might Have Missed This Week From Americas Top Districts

As Chicago Teachers Threaten to Walk Out, New Report Suggests a Hidden Driver Behind Rash of Strikes: Skyrocketing Pension and Health Costs

EduClips: From NYCs Plan to Develop New Schools With XQ to a Possible Teacher Strike in Chicago, the Education News You Missed This Week From Americas 15 Top Districts

Monthly QuotED: 6 Notable Quotes That Made Education Headlines in September, From Affirmative Action to Teacher Pay and President Trump on Vaping

What the Harvard Affirmative Action Victory Means for Students Who Face Endemic Inequalities in K-12 Schools

New Profit Committing More Than $2 Million to Entrepreneurs Working on Education Access and Social Mobility for Underserved Students

Sanders Pulls Out of Campaign Doldrums With a Huge Fundraising Quarter and Lots of Support From Teachers

New Study of Boston Charter Schools Shows Huge Learning Gains for Citys Special Education Students English Language Learners

Challenging Charter Critics, New Study Finds that as Sector Enrollment Grows, So Do Test Scores for Black and Hispanic Students

Americans View Principals Positively, According to Pew Study Comparing School Leaders to Lawmakers, Journalists, Tech Execs

As Rate of Children Without Health Insurance Rises in 2018, Researchers Ask: Is Trumps Immigration Crackdown to Blame?

Today Show Hosts Take Over as Teachers at Newarks North Star Academy and Cant Quite Believe What They See

RAW TEXT: Read the Education Departments Findings of How Chicago Public Schools Mishandled Allegations of Student Abuse and Assault

EduClips: From Florida Schools Welcoming Displaced Bahamian Students to a Federal Push to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes, Education News You Missed This Week From Americas 15 Top Districts

LISTEN: Can Puerto Ricos Schools Be Saved? New EWA Podcast Interviews 74s Mark Keierleber About Islands Education System, Crippled by Storms and Scandals

Millions of Students Are Chronically Absent Each Year. Improve School Conditions and More Kids Will Show Up, Report Argues

As Schools Diversify, Principals Remain Mostly White and 5 Other Things We Learned This Summer About Americas School Leaders

Migrant Children Separated From Parents Experienced Severe Trauma, Government Watchdog Finds. Heres What That Means for Americas Schools

Elite Schools, Prized by Parents and Politicians Alike, May Actually Hurt Disadvantaged Students More Than They Help, New Research Shows

Long Farm Village and nearby affluent neighborhoods are looking to secede from East Baton Rouge and its district, leaving behind impoverished areas not yet recovered from catastrophic flooding and lacking needed resources for their schools. (Beth Hawkins)

Wealthy, white and withdrawing: A push for a fourth Baton Rouge school district secession takes a big step forward

You can just look at the boundaries of what the community looks like and its clear its rooted in racism: A Baton Rouge suburb and its schools are poised to break away

A wealthy, largely white suburb of East Baton Rouge has taken a step closer to seceding from the citys school district after residents voted to incorporate as a new municipality, St. George. If leaders of the new city succeed in pressing the Louisiana Legislature to create a new school system the impetus for the years-long breakaway campaign it will leave East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools with a hyperconcentration of impoverished, mostly black students.

It would be the fourth time in 16 years that a Baton Rouge suburb has carved out its own district, taking over schools previously belonging to the parish, Louisianas equivalent of a county. Since the first three secessions, the district has shrunk to 42,000 students, 90 percent of them children of color and 84 percent impoverished.

The new city would be more than 70 percent white and less than 15 percent black. Up to 6,000 children could be forced to change schools.

You can just look at the boundaries of what the community looks like, and its clear its rooted in racism, said Tramelle Howard, vice president of the parish system school board. Its divisive.

A slim majority 54 percent of the areas 86,000 residents voted Oct. 12 voted to form St. George. Only those living within the citys proposed boundaries were allowed to vote. The move, which would create the fifth-largest city in Louisiana, could still face a legal challenge. Assuming the new municipality is formed, it must petition lawmakers to create a new school district.

Estimates vary wildly, but a new St. George school district could take an estimated $85 million in state and local tax revenue and 12 percent of the current districts student body. One civic group put the cost to the old district at $765 for every pupil left behind.

Left Behind: Can East Baton Rouge Schools Survive the Breakaway of a Wealthy Majority White Community?

Add to that the potential financial impact of decisions that would need to be negotiated by parish and St. George officials, including which entity assumes responsibility for teacher pensions, retiree medical benefits and new or updated school buildings in a community where many facilities are crumbling.

There are taxpayer investments that are already made, said Howard.

According to the think tank EdBuild, 30 states allow school district secessions, which typically fuel financial and educational inequities. Since 2000, at least 128 U.S. communitieshave sought to leavetheir school districts, and 73 have succeeded.

Our overreliance on property taxes to fund schools creates an incentive for the wealthiest communities to secede and keep their tax dollars for their children, said Sara Hodges, EdBuilds director of data and visualizations. But the state of Louisiana has a safeguard to ensure that the needs of all communities are considered it requires two-thirds of the legislature to vote yes for a new school district. The final decision will be in the hands of the legislature.

The newspaper The Advocate reports that Gov. John Bel Edwardsmust now appointan interim St. George mayor and city council so the new municipality can begin negotiations with East Baton Rouge, which has a merged city-parish government. The mayor-president of that entity, Sharon Weston Broome, had yet to say whether East Baton Rouge would challenge the breakaway in court.

The U.S. Department of Justice took Baton Rouge to court in 1956, two years after the Supreme Courts landmark decision inBrown vs. Board of Education, and the citys first court-ordered school integration began in 1963. This was followed by white flight and increased private school enrollment. In 2003, the desegregation case was closed. Within three years, three communities had seceded from East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools to create their own districts.

In 2013, residents of the fastest-growing unincorporated section of the parish launched a campaign to get the legislature to put a constitutional amendment creating a new St. George school district on the ballot. After the measure failed, lawmakers told residents they would have a better chance at garnering a legislative majority if they first incorporated as a municipality.

In the intervening years, St. Georges backersbroadened their argumentsin favor of creating a new city to include the possibility of a leaner and more responsive local government. Detractors have presented counterarguments not least that East Baton Rouge went to a unified system of government because it presented opportunities to reduce costs.

Earlier this year, Howard and other East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools officials told The 74 that whether the breakaway ultimately takes place or not, the district is at a crossroads. A new superintendent will be hired in the coming months, and several board members said his or her top agenda items should be eliminating an inequitable divide between selective-enrollment magnet schools and poorly performing traditional campuses.

That needs to happen no matter what, Howard said in a new interview. But the formation of a new St. George district would make it harder.

Its unfortunate that a sector of the community believes that the only way to see progression is through division, he said. We just have to do the best for kids in our district.

Wealthy, white and withdrawing: A push for a fourth Baton Rouge school district secession takes a big step forward

You can just look at the boundaries of what the community looks like and its clear its rooted in racism: A Baton Rouge suburb and its schools are poised to break away

With a Wealthy, Mostly White Suburbs Vote to Withdraw, East Baton Rouge Schools a Step Closer to Fourth School Secession

EduClips: From Virginia Lawsuits Over Secluding Kids to New SCOTUS Briefs Advocating for DACA Students and Teachers, News You Might Have Missed This Week From Americas Top Districts

As Chicago Teachers Threaten to Walk Out, New Report Suggests a Hidden Driver Behind Rash of Strikes: Skyrocketing Pension and Health Costs

EduClips: From NYCs Plan to Develop New Schools With XQ to a Possible Teacher Strike in Chicago, the Education News You Missed This Week From Americas 15 Top Districts

Monthly QuotED: 6 Notable Quotes That Made Education Headlines in September, From Affirmative Action to Teacher Pay and President Trump on Vaping

What the Harvard Affirmative Action Victory Means for Students Who Face Endemic Inequalities in K-12 Schools

New Profit Committing More Than $2 Million to Entrepreneurs Working on Education Access and Social Mobility for Underserved Students

Sanders Pulls Out of Campaign Doldrums With a Huge Fundraising Quarter and Lots of Support From Teachers

New Study of Boston Charter Schools Shows Huge Learning Gains for Citys Special Education Students English Language Learners

Challenging Charter Critics, New Study Finds that as Sector Enrollment Grows, So Do Test Scores for Black and Hispanic Students

Americans View Principals Positively, According to Pew Study Comparing School Leaders to Lawmakers, Journalists, Tech Execs

As Rate of Children Without Health Insurance Rises in 2018, Researchers Ask: Is Trumps Immigration Crackdown to Blame?

Today Show Hosts Take Over as Teachers at Newarks North Star Academy and Cant Quite Believe What They See

RAW TEXT: Read the Education Departments Findings of How Chicago Public Schools Mishandled Allegations of Student Abuse and Assault

EduClips: From Florida Schools Welcoming Displaced Bahamian Students to a Federal Push to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes, Education News You Missed This Week From Americas 15 Top Districts

LISTEN: Can Puerto Ricos Schools Be Saved? New EWA Podcast Interviews 74s Mark Keierleber About Islands Education System, Crippled by Storms and Scandals

Millions of Students Are Chronically Absent Each Year. Improve School Conditions and More Kids Will Show Up, Report Argues

As Schools Diversify, Principals Remain Mostly White and 5 Other Things We Learned This Summer About Americas School Leaders

Migrant Children Separated From Parents Experienced Severe Trauma, Government Watchdog Finds. Heres What That Means for Americas Schools

Elite Schools, Prized by Parents and Politicians Alike, May Actually Hurt Disadvantaged Students More Than They Help, New Research Shows

74 Interview: Author and Harvard Scholar David Perkins on What Traditional Classroom Teachers Can Learn From Science Fairs, Backyard Sports Whole Game Learning

This Weeks ESSA News: Looking for Vendors With Proof of Effectiveness, How ESSA Is Changing State Testing, Which States Are Making Student Well-Being a Priority More

In Response to a Surge in Youth Activism, NYC Schools Hires Its First Student Voice Manager Who Says Shell Bring Kids Closer to the Decision Making

Testing Anxiety, Boredom Guesses: What Expert Steven Wise Has Learned About Exams and Rapid-Guessing Behavior and What That Tells Him About Your Childs Score