Let’s forget for a moment about the petition drive that is the bid to create the city of St. George. Let’s temporarily halt the debate over whether a St. George would destroy the city of Baton Rouge or enhance it….
St. George or not, the complaints about life in East Baton Rouge are legitimate: JR Ball
MY COMMENTARY far below is based on photos above of millions of dollars being spent on new schools and new boulevards in North Baton Rouge where a significant share of residents don’t pay property taxes!
Great Article, JR Ball! St George is being formed out of FRUSTRATION and this is what they’re frustrated about below. North Baton Rouge is clearly disintegrating and throwing millions of federal dollars at the problems there isn’t going to solve these problems.
“The frustration felt by those residing in the neighborhoods of Woodlawn and Shenandoah are also shared by those in Baton Rouge neighborhoods like Riverbend, Southdowns and Sherwood Forest.
In short, the middle class is not happy with life in America’s next great city.
They are tired of…
… a parish-wide public school system that’s wonderful at educating the academically gifted but abysmal at educating everyone else.
… having to put their children on buses to be driven across town in the early morning hours to attend magnet schools zip codes away.
… electing school board members who promise “reform” during the campaign but deliver “status quo” once in office.
… hearing school superintendents talk about bold plans that will give neighborhoods academic autonomy and yet those bold promises never get enacted.
… the classroom tension and violence that’s happening as a result of mixing students from the northern part of the parish — who have little desire to be bused across Baton Rouge — with students from the southern part of the parish, who also have no desire to commingle with their policy-forced classmates.
… being told — thanks, in part, to a former State senator by the name of Kip Holden — that they can’t have an independent school district unless they first create a city and then be chastised for wanting to create a city so that they can have an independent school district.
… seeing new schools built elsewhere in the district and then be told there’s no money to build schools in a part of the district that’s actually experiencing population growth.
… having to wait on line days in advance — or participate in a lottery — to register their children for the rare pre-K programs and public schools that actually do work.
… residing in one of Louisiana’s worst school districts while neighboring school districts in Ascension, Livingston and West Feliciana parishes, as well as in the independent school districts of Zachary and Central (districts that all have students who have fled EBR schools) soar to the top of academic performance charts.”
MY COMMENTARY based on photos above of new school and new boulevard in North Baton Rouge
I see this and scratch my head why really nice new schools are being built in North Baton Rouge where almost 100% of the home are under homestead exemption and residents don’t pay much of any property taxes, “… seeing new schools built elsewhere in the district and then be told there’s no money to build schools in a part of the district that’s actually experiencing population growth.” Like this fine new school Claiborne Elementary on Denham Street in 70805.
Or, this new boulevard near Ford Street IN ZION CITY costing local tax payers millions, a severely troubled part of town in 70811 where numerous homes are vacant and distressed and there’s blocks and blocks of vacant lots. Again, these residents pay little to no property taxes in order to enjoy this new expansion. This seems like a vote getting tactic to me.
To Mayor Holden’s credit, it wasn’t until he took office that many of these expansions began to take place (Staring Ln to Burbank, Jones Creek, S Harrells Ferry to Sherwood Forest, etc..). However, this also could have been based on the trillions in new spending the Obama Admin authorized to get us out of the economic malaise from 2008 to 2011…the States received billions if not trillions for roads projects during this time. Mayor Holden just might have been the Mayor at that time who received and directed these dollars being spent.
See on www.nola.com