BRAC IN THE NEWS

BRAC Releases Results of Poll Regarding EBRPSS

April 29, 2014

BRAC Releases Results of Poll Regarding EBRPSS

Citizens interested in seeking local control for schools over new city

Baton Rouge, La. (April 29, 2014) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released the results of a poll conducted to gauge whether a restructuring of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS)  to allow for more local control and principal autonomy would impact the effort to incorporate a new city in East Baton Rouge Parish.  As various bills for restructuring the East Baton Rouge Public School System are being considered by the Legislature, some have claimed that successful passage of these bills would have no effect on the incorporation effort.  That claim is not supported by the views of the broader community of voters in the proposed St. George area, according to BRAC’s poll results.  While those voters do not, by and large, have a high opinion of the school system, strong majorities also appear to favor finding other education alternatives instead of incorporating a new city.

“It is clear that the main concern of residents of the proposed new city of St. George is the quality of the existing public education system.  The desire of these residents is to fix the existing system by allowing for local control, and not by creating a new city,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC.  “BRAC is working with elected officials and citizens to make the necessary changes to the EBRPSS to address these concerns while maintaining a unified school district.”

36 percent felt that schools and education were the most important issue facing their area, as opposed to 6 percent believing the creation of a new city was most important.  The results show that 72 percent of respondents would rate the EBRPSS as not so good or bad.  Only 36 percent of respondents believe creating a new city called St. George is the only route to creating education alternatives. 

52 percent of respondents believed that granting autonomy to neighborhoods, meaning the East Baton Rouge public school board cannot make decisions about how neighborhood schools are run, was very or somewhat favorable.  56 percent of respondents believe that taking control of the local public schools, but not creating a new city, is the most important issue currently for the southern portion of East Baton Rouge Parish.  See the poll results below.

The poll was conducted by national firm Penn Schoen Berland on January 27-28, 2014, among 405 likely voters in precincts within the boundaries of the proposed “City of St. George” in the southern parts of East Baton Rouge Parish.  The margin of error is +/- 4.87 with a 95 percent confidence level.

75 percent of the respondents were white, 19 percent African American, and 6 percent were other.  47 percent of respondents were male and 53 percent were female.  40 percent of respondents were age 18-49, 34 percent were age 50-64, and 25 percent were age 65 and over.

POLL RESULTS

1.)   In your opinion, what would you say is the most important issue facing your part of East Baton Rouge Parish today?

Schools/education: 36 percent
Crime: 16 percent
Traffic congestion: 10 percent
Create new city/any mention of St. George: 6 percent
Taxes: 4 percent
Economy/jobs: 3 percent
Safety/security: 2 percent
Environment protection: 1 percent
Drugs: 1 percent
Other: 15 percent

Don’t know: 6 percent

2.)   How would you rate the East Baton Rouge Parish School System?

Very Good: 4 percent

Good: 18 percent

Not so good: 46 percent

Bad: 26 percent

Don’t know: 6 percent

3.)   Creating a new city called St. George is the ONLY route to create education alternatives for public school students in your part of EBR?

Strongly agree: 21 percent

Somewhat agree: 15 percent

Somewhat disagree: 17 percent

Strongly disagree: 41 percent

Don’t know: 5 percent

4.)   Which do you believe is more important for the southern part of East Baton Rouge parish?

Taking control of the local public schools in your area, but NOT creating a new city:56 percent

Creating a new city, St. George, to create a new school system: 29 percent

Neither: 9 percent

Don’t know: 5 percent

5.)   Grant autonomy to neighborhoods which means the East Baton Rouge public school board cannot make decisions about how neighborhood schools are run.  Would you say this statement is…?

Very favorable: 23 percent

Somewhat favorable: 29 percent

Somewhat unfavorable: 21 percent

Very unfavorable: 22 percent

Don’t know: 6 percent

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area.  Serving as the voice of the business community, BRAC’s investors include more than 1,100 organizations whose employees represent over a third of the region’s workforce.

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