Attempt to give principals more power shot down

Attempt to give principals more power shot down
Photo provided by staff.
Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 8:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 8:04pm

It was an attempt to give school principals more power but it failed. Lawmakers tired to give parents more of a voice for redistricting, and allow principals to make more decisions.

It's been years of back and forth about our public school systems. There have been complaints about everything from the way our kids are taught, to how decisions are made.

“If this bill passes hopefully this will be the last time we have anyone up here talking about Baton Rouge’s schools problems,” said Rep. Stephen Carter, (R) Baton Rouge.

The proposal made it all the way to the Senate floor and spurred debate. But, ultimately, lawmakers shot it down and had heated conversations along the way.

"Why are so many people against the bill when the superintendent says that's basically what he's trying to do everything that’s in it," noted Rep. Carter.

But the fight continued on.

“I understand how you’re reading it, but your just wrong.”

The bill would have given the sheer "opportunity" for our principals to have more power.

If the superintendent is doing what you say in the bill, it doesn’t need legislation to be done then,” noted Rep. Patricia Smith, (D) Baton Rouge.

And through their intense debate, it became apparent; our lawmakers took this one personally.

“For those of you having problems getting back and forth in this city, I can’t guarantee this but I can say part of it has to do with the traffic and the traffic has to do with schools," said Rep. Carter.

Some lawmakers say, the bill as a whole wasn't strong enough to help in the long run.

"I am disappointed that you're blaming that on the schools," said Rep. Smith.

The East Baton Rouge Public School System is happy this law won't go into effect. Here is what they had to say.

“We consider today’s action by the Louisiana House of Representatives as an opportunity for all of us – including those on both sides of this legislative measure – to work together as a community to improve education outcomes for all students in our system. We plan to incorporate certain provisions of SB 636 associated with principal autonomy, parent and community empowerment and the ‘Family of Schools’ concept into our plan to transform our system. By working together as a community, we have the opportunity now to galvanize the focus on student achievement in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System generated by SB 636 to formulate, discuss, and implement innovative approaches to better serve all students and their families.”
Sen. Bodi White was pushing for this law to pass.


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