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EBR School Board to Vote on Expanding Dual-Enrollment...After the School Year Starts

Delayed by the Board's dysfunction, will EBR School Board Expand Dual Enrollment funding after the school year already started?

At tomorrow's East Baton Rouge Parish School Board meeting, members will again consider a controversial proposal to fund expenditures for the district's Pathways to Bright Futures program. Pathways to Bright Futures is an expansion of dual enrollment course offerings in the district's high schools, through a partnership with Baton Rouge Community College to offer more college classes in high school.

The district piloted the program at Glen Oaks High School during the 2021-2022 school year. In the middle of that year, December 2021, Superintendent Sito Naricsse unveiled his plan to expand it district-wide, with requirements for incoming 9th graders to take 4 dual-enrollment courses. Quietly during that school year, amid pushback from parents and teachers, the plan was scaled back but the district forged ahead with pushing for expansion. The original goal was to expand the plan beginning in the current, 2022-2023, school year.

The board kicked off the process of expanding it to other district high schools back at its June 2nd meeting, with a presentation from Superintendent Sito Naricsse detailing the outcomes of the Glen Oaks pilot. While the pilot program, which excluded students repeating their grade level and non-diploma bound students, resulted in many students receiving at least 3 hours of college credit, over 30% of students participating in the program, received a "D" or "F" grade, or withdrew from the program entirely. Just slightly more- 37%- finished with an "A" or "B", with the remainder, another 31%, receiving a "C". After that presentation, a request to consider funding the program was put on the agenda for a June 9th special meeting.

When no final vote was taken at that meeting, it was pushed to the next week's June 16th Regular Meeting, during a chaotic, contentious series of meetings that left much of the Board's business unfinished, and left many wondering if the Board was simply too broken to tackle big issues. With many members absent, including Board Member Mike Gaudet simply storming out, the vote to approve the Pathways to Bright Futures funding failed. With the failure to pass the funding on June 16th, consideration was pushed back all the way until August 18th, after the new school year has already started- meaning, if the Board votes to approve the funding tomorrow, they will be starting the new program after this school year has already started.

Once again, the dysfunction on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board will have delayed a monumental decision for months, negatively impacting the parents, students, and taxpayers it is supposed to be serving.

Read more about the broken East Baton Rouge Parish School Board here.

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