BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is holding another “Listen and Learn” town hall tour, an initiative to empower community members to have their voices heard.
Several teachers, parents and school board members attended Tuesday night’s meeting. Those who spoke from the audience had concerns about the potential new start times with the ongoing construction of the I-10 widening project, the tax break with Exxon Mobil and schools not being up to update and falling apart.
One suggestion is creating a new tax.
Superintendent Sito Narcisse said the meeting featured new insights on what needs to be looked at.
“The town hall meetings are made not only to listen but to take some actions, and to see how different communities are understanding what we are actually doing, what are things they need more additionally in their community to help support their schools,” said Narcisse.
Several teachers who attended the meeting told BRProud they’re glad Narcisse is listening to some of their concerns.
Storm Matthews, a teacher at Sherwood Middle School, has been advocating for change within the school district for years.
“I have to fight a whole lot more now than what I used to,” said Matthews.
Matthews said a tax increase is needed because the school system needs more money. She explains how neighboring states, such as Texas, have already implemented a high tax structure for their schools. Matthews and others fought against the Exxon Mobil tax break the school board just approved Thursday, saying that the district and those in the community will be losing money.
Narcisse said there’s been a downfall in consistency with the six keys in a strategic plan aimed at improving the school system in student success, operations, employee development and more.
“Those are the things we have to be consistent about so that families can feel more confident, and not just see confidence in one building,” said Narcisse.
Matthews, Narcisse and school leaders can agree they need more meetings.
“Certain things that we have struggled with have been historical, it has not just happened as me as superintendent,” said Narcisse. “I’m just the person who says we’re going to address the problem and try to fix it.”
There are more town hall meetings planned in the parish. See below for when and where future meetings are happening.
- Nov. 1: 5:30-7 p.m. at Woodlawn High School, 15755 Jefferson Hwy.
- Nov. 6: 5:30-7 p.m. at Glasgow Middle, 1676 Glasgow Ave.
- Nov. 9: 5:30-7 p.m. at Capitol Middle School, 5100 Greenwell Springs Rd.
- Nov. 14: 5:30-7 p.m. at Jefferson Terrace Academy, 5601 Upton Drive.
- Nov. 15: 5:30-7 p.m. at Scotlandville Magnet High School, 9870 Scotland Ave.