Last night the anti-St. George crowd had their rally, and the Baton Rouge Advocate said one of the major highlights was the panicked warnings of magnet-school moms…
Lara Gautreau, who lives in the proposed St. George boundaries but said she opposes the incorporation attempt and spoke at Tuesday’s Better Together meeting, has two daughters in the gifted program in East Baton Rouge.
“Their teachers are fabulous; the students in their classes very diverse,” she said, noting one of her daughters learned to sing “Happy Birthday” in Arabic when she was in kindergarten.
After Hurricane Katrina, Gautreau received a job offer in Kansas but said she decided to stay in Baton Rouge because she felt her daughters would only have had a comparable educational experience if she sent them to private school there.
“We are really scared and sad at the idea that the choices we have made and the plans we have in place may not happen,” she said. “It really feels as if the rug is being pulled out from under us.”
Gautreau said she knows her experience isn’t the same for every family in East Baton Rouge Parish schools, but she said she thinks the energy going into the incorporation effort could be better spent on improving education.
“It really upsets me that we’re here wasting our time trying to do this, rather than improving schools,” she said.
She’s right. Her experience isn’t the same as other parents in the school system. WAFB-TV made that clear on Monday night…
Remember, Keith Bromery is the former spokesman for the Atlanta public schools, where he made his bones trying to put a PR spin on a massive grade-fixing scandal. He’s an expert on the subject of how to defend a dysfunctional school system and an incompetent management class from the prying eyes of the media. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to apply his knowledge to his current job, as we hear the state Department of Education investigation into the academic fraud in the EBR schools is progressing and expanding and will soon be turned over to the Attorney General’s office so that subpoena power can be brought to bear.
And the superintendent of East Baton Rouge’s system, Dr. Bernard Taylor, can’t be bothered to address the school bullying issue.
Taylor wasn’t in attendance at the anti-St. George rally, but there were some other notables there. Capitol City News publisher and former state legislator Woody Jenkins was, and here was his report on what he saw…
BETTER TOGETHER OR TOGETHER BATON ROUGE? More than 250 opponents of incorporating the new City of St. George packed St. Patrick Catholic Church tonight under the auspices of “Better Together.” However, a large number of those in attendance were from outside St. George and won’t be able to vote. Metro Council member Buddy Amoroso said he recognized many of those in attendance as leaders and activists from Together Baton Rouge, the leftist group affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation, established by Saul Alinsky. Brod Bagert, the IAF organizer for Louisiana, was there, along with Edgar Gage of Together Baton Rouge. Other Together Baton Rouge leaders were throughout the crowd. Together Baton Rouge is the group that pushed through the infamous CATS tax. Ironically, they helped draw a district that prevented the people of St. George from voting on the CATS tax. Now they say the entire parish should vote on St. George. Stopping St. George appears to be more and more a top priority of the “progressive left.”
Another attendee, a Baton Rouge politician of note with whom we’re on good terms, sent us this description…
This thing is a Together Baton Rouge deal. Diane Hanley et al. Brod Bagert. They are behind this.
We were also told that a large number of the attendees were not St. George residents but rather people who live in places like Spanish Town and Mid-City.
The overt presence of the Alinskyite left-wing community organizing group at last night’s event shows this debate to be changing. It started out as a legitimate question over schools and progressed into an argument over money and the use of tax dollars. But with Together Baton Rouge now involved at the level they are, we’re now into a more basic fight over whether people are to be governed according to the urban socialism of Saul Alinsky, or the small-government principles of our Founders.
And what’s interesting is that there are Democrats who live in St. George and are for it. Making this an ideological fight the way the TBR gang is doing puts those people in a terrible position, and an unfair one.
We’d like to hear Together Baton Rouge’s response to Taylor’s blow-off of the 500 bullying allegations, and we’d like to hear their answer for the state Department of Education’s investigation into grade-fixing and academic fraud. We’d like to hear it, but we know we won’t. This is about ideology and power for them, not people.