Only One of Top School Districts In BR Area Has Magnet Schools

BATON ROUGE — A survey of the top-performing public school districts in the Baton Rouge area — Zachary, Central, West Feliciana, Livingston, Ascension, and St. Tammany — indicates that only one of them has magnet schools.

The one exception is Ascension, which has authorized magnet school programs on the west bank of the parish in the Donaldsonville area, where some schools have scored D’s and F’s by the state.

Some of the opposition to the proposed new Southeast Baton Rouge Community School System has come from parents of students attending East Baton Rouge Parish magnet schools.  They are concerned that the new system will not offer magnet school programs.

Sen. Bodi White’s bills SB 73 and SB 199 to create the new school district do provide that high school students from within the new Southeast school district who are attending schools outside the district, such as Baton Rouge Magnet, would be able to continue there through graduation.

A school board member in one of the top districts, who asked that his name not be used, said, “Our schools are rated A by the state.  Why would we have magnet schools?  All of our schools are designed for excellence. Good school systems tend to focus on gifted and talented programs within the context of general admission public schools.”

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