BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A recent report from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber revealed that more middle to upper-income capital area families are enrolling their children in the public school system.

For years, local education officials have been trying to draw more families to the public school system, and the report indicates such efforts have paid off.

According to BRAC, “Local public schools enrolled 10,722 middle- and upper-income students in October 2022, an increase of 2,722 students, or 34%, over October 2012 enrollment.”

The report also reveals that in schools with a higher population of middle- and upper-income students, kids of all socio-economic backgrounds are performing better academically.

East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System Superintendent Sito Narcisse said, “We are truly grateful to see fact-based research that confirms what we’ve witnessed anecdotally for two years now – many new students and families are drawn to the bold, innovative programs we have developed on a scale this district has never before offered.”

EBR Schools is eager to see more students of all socioeconomic backgrounds come through its doors.

Narcisse touched on this, saying, “Our belief that every child can learn has led us to design specialized programs that reach diverse students on a wide spectrum and assures endless possibilities on the path to graduation and beyond.”

The momentum is expected to continue during the upcoming school year. The 2023-2024 curriculum will include an expansion of certain capital area magnet programs as well as several new public charter schools with a reputation of academic success.  

“In a twist of surprising, good news, this report challenges the recurring adage that public school is not a quality choice for EBR students,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “Our team’s research shows that efforts to increase school choice and quality are paying off with more middle- to upper-income parents now choosing to send their children to local public schools. We encourage EBR schools and charter school leadership to continue to seek out and develop more ways for attracting parents to try public.”

The report is the result of BRAC’s analysis of attendance and performance records for all EBR public schools from 2012 through 2022. BRAC says it used October headcounts to figure out annual enrollment statistics. 

Click here to view the full report.