The parent group One Community, One School District on Friday stopped short of making endorsements, instead affixing to its voting guide “frowny faces” to seven East Baton Rouge Parish School Board candidates, saying they are “funded by and/or endorsed by those who advocate for the privatization of our public schools.”
One Community, One School District, a group dominated by magnet school parents, formed in 2012 to fight the proposed Southeast Community school system. The group has remained active since.
Last spring, it opposed unsuccessful legislation, developed by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, to shift power from the School Board to school principals and to reduce the size of the School Board. The board voted July 24 on its own to shrink from 11 to nine seats.
One Community, a nonprofit, is not giving formal endorsements, but it has made its negative views of certain candidates clear in its voting guide. It argues that these candidates have used terms like “site-based management” and “decentralized governance,” phrases the nonprofit says are code for supporting charter schools. Such schools are public but run by private groups via contract.
One Community put frowny faces next to six candidates to whom the political arm of Baton Rouge Area Chamber has given a total of $37,500 in support: Mark Bellue, District 1; Daniel Banguel, District 2; Robert Maxie Sr., District 4; Evelyn Ware-Jackson, District 5; Barbara Freiberg, District 6; and Chris Bailey, District 8.
Also getting a frowny face is District 1 candidate Jennifer Andrews, who has support from individuals and groups associated with Baton Rouge-area businessman Lane Grigsby. These groups also are supporting the other six candidates and account for almost $200,000 in candidate contributions this election so far.