Parents torn over decision to drop Breakaway District efforts

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POSTED: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 4:55pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 5:07pm

For the second year in a row Senator Bodi White is dropping his fight to create the Southeastern Community School District.

"Unfortunately I don't think I can quite get there. Like last year, we're close. I have some friends that would be willing to vote for it but I just don't think we can get there," explained Senator White.

70 votes were needed to pass the proposed constitutional amendment on the house floor, something that has proven too tough to get again. Lewis Richerson said he's disappointed. He said he was looking forward to possibly moving his kids to public school, but only if the breakaway succeeded.

"School districts here were unacceptable for us and so we are homeschooling our kids and we'll continue to do so,” Richerson said, “gut reaction is we're disappointed. We’re sad that we have not been afforded, as residents of southeast Baton Rouge, the opportunity to vote, to have our voices heard on the issue."

Belinda Davis has been fighting the breakaway district since it was proposed. With three kids in the East Baton Rouge school system she is hoping to spend the summer convincing other parents to keep the district together.

“We hope that they'll stay with us, that we're stronger as one. The schools in that area are continuing to make progress. We think this year's school scores will show that as well. And that the progress that's made will help reassure them that they can get a quality education in the East Baton Rouge school system," Davis said.

Senator White said that even though the bill is dead for this session, the breakaway issue is not.

"I think it'll depend on the people in southeast Baton Rouge. I can tell you this, the only thing we'll be bringing is a constitutional amendment. The district is created," shared White.

There were two bills this session that needed to pass in order to move the Breakaway on to the next phase of creation. The first bill did pass this session. The proposed amendment deals with funding it, and that's the one that's being dropped. Senator White also threw the idea out there that people in the proposed breakaway could try and create their own city, just like central did a few years ago.

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