Knapp: Failed schools bills aside, ‘many positive outcomes’ from legislative session

Business Report

Despite the failure of education bills to restructure the East Baton Rouge Parish School System and reduce the number of its board members during this legislative session, BRAC highlights the passage of many other bills it lobbied for regarding crime prevention, small business and workforce development in a recap of the session released this morning. “While restructuring of the EBRPSS remained a high-profile topic, there were many positive outcomes,” reads a statement from BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp. “These wins will have long-lasting, positive impacts on the Capital Region.” Specifically, the BRAC recap says “the results for crime solutions are likely the most substantive for the Baton Rouge area, with new funding sources for a truancy center and misdemeanor jail. These priorities have been fundamental to the organization’s multi-year strategy for criminal justice solutions to violent crime.” BRAC says it was also pleased to see passage of several workforce development initiatives, including establishment of the new Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund, as well as passage of bills regarding tort reform and regional economic development funding. As for the failed education bills, BRAC suggests there is a silver lining in that the issue has been pushed to the forefront of public discussion. “While some legislators were content to defend the status quo, the business community raised concerns, through two bills, that the public education system is the source of a crisis facing EBR. Although both bills failed to pass, BRAC was able to elevate the issue of public education facing the parish that leaders of EBR schools fail to appreciate or even acknowledge,” reads the recap.

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