Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Louisiana’s most improved public school shuts its doors

Louisiana’s perfect storm - an ill-conceived school reform experiment coupled with drastic budget reductions - has claimed another victim. The most improved public school in the state has been shuttered by the East Baton Rouge Parish school Board.

As reported here by Charles Lussiere of The Advocate, EBR Lab Academy was closed because the state seized control of the facility in which it was housed, and the school board’s budget could not bear the cost of a school that gave intensive assistance to kids who needed it.

As Lussiere writes, “EBR Lab shared a campus with Istrouma High and both were run by the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, but the demise of those two schools was set in motion by RSD.”

A struggling Istrouma High School was taken over by the Recovery School District. EBR Lab could not remain at Istrouma, which was no longer part of the Baton Rouge school system, and board members saw a chance to save $1 million by simply closing the successful experimental school. Like most other school districts, Baton Rouge is suffering because of Governor Bobby Jindal’s refusal to raise education spending along with the cost of inflation.

And so more than 200 kids who were achieving their goals have been scattered, and their faculty has moved on to other jobs in other schools, and a successful public school is gone.

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