SE Backers Say  La. Constitution May Not Need To Be Amended

SE Backers Say La. Constitution May Not Need To Be Amended

SOUTHEAST — Supporters of the proposed Southeast Baton Rouge Community School District said Wednesday the recently-completed legislative session was far more successful than most people realize.
Norman Browning, chairman of Local Schools for Local Children, said the passage of SB 199 has placed the new school district in the Louisiana Revised Statutes.  “That is done.  We passed the legislation through four committee hearings and both houses of the legislature.  We don’t have to do that again.  Now we can focus on passage of the constitutional amendment, but that’s not our only option.”  Browning said there is a never-before-used provision of the Louisiana Constitution that would allow the Southeast Baton Rouge Community School System to exist as a “city school system.”
Browning said a reading of Article VIII Section 13 of the state constitution makes it clear that there can be two types of school boards — parish school boards and city school boards.  However, Louisiana does not currently have any “city” school boards.  The state has only “parish” school boards.  Art. VIII, Section 13(D)(1) provides that school systems in the “Central community,” the “Zachary community,” and the municipalities of Baker, Monroe, and Bogalusa shall all be treated as “parishes.”
Browning said Art. VIII, Section 13(B) says that each “parish school system” and each “city school system” gets to participate in the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) and Section 13 (C) says that each “parish school board” and each “city school board” has the authority to levy school taxes.
Browning said that the boundaries of the Zachary Community School System go far beyond the City of Zachary, and the boundaries of the Central Community School Board also go beyond the City of Central.
He said supporters of the proposed Southeast Baton Rouge Community School System believe that incorporation of Southeast Baton Rouge as a separate municipality would give them the option to use the statute already passed to form a city school board and a city school system without having to pass an amendment to the state constitution.
Browning said that the Southeast school district movement also has the option of re-introducing the constitutional amendment in the 2014 legislative session.  He said, “The constitutional amendment that we proposed was not supposed to be on the ballot until October 2014.  So we could still meet our original timetable, if we decide to take that approach.”

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!