BRAC grades Baton Rouge school tax proposals

The Business Report

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is supporting two of the three tax renewal measures the East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System is placing on the April 28 ballot.

The three propositions are tied to the renewal of a 1-cent sales tax for the school system. The sales taxes pay for school improvements, discipline and truancy programs, and teacher pay and benefits. BRAC favors the renewal of the measures dealing with school improvements and teacher pay, while arguing the tax dealing with discipline and truancy should be rejected.

The concern over Proposition 2, says BRAC, is that portion of the plan has received little scrutiny.

As for the other two, BRAC says Proposition 1 addresses population growth in the southern part of the parish as well as the continued drop in overall student enrollment within the district.

“Population growth in East Baton Rouge is greatest in the south and southeast part of the parish, where school-age population is slated to grow by approximately 1,000 students in the next 10 years,” BRAC says of Proposition 1. “The Tax Plan addresses this population growth, allowing EBRPSS to prepare for it.”

As for Proposition 3, BRAC warns the failure of that tax plan will lead to a 10%-12% drop in pay across the board for EBRPSS employees.

“The salary reduction that would result from a failure of Proposition 3 would not only be an unfair penalty on hard-working teachers, administrators, and others, but also would dramatically reduce EBRPSS’ ability to recruit and retain top talent,” the chamber says.

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