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CITY OF BAKER SCHOOL DISTRICT
Baker, Louisiana, USA - - - Unofficial Homepage
Local Government is Better than Distant Government.

City of Baker School Board,  P. O. Box 680, Baker, LA 70704-0680
Jerry Epperson, Supt. -- Voice: 225.774.5795  --  Fax:    225.774.5797

To see a list of School City of Baker School District Board Members and contact information, click here: CBSD Board Members
This page is under continuing construction. It will chronicle the development of the Baker Independent School District. (CITY of BAKER SCHOOL DISTRICT -- Independent of EBRPSS) Please tell others (who are interested in the development of independent school districts in LA) about this page. I would be glad to get your comments and suggestions. I could add a comment link if I got some. You can e-mail me. (George Gallman)

A hot IDEA, it all began with an idea, a wild, crazy, impossible idea -- a God idea.

Feburary 09-2002: Well it looks like it may be final.
City of Baker School System MAY start in July 1 of 2003.

Three boards will determine the outcome on Thursday Feb. 14, 2002.
See article printed in The Advocate Feb. 9, 2002
What is the RATIONAL for A Baker Independent School District? Click here: RATIONAL

Wednesday, January 30, 2002 -- The City of Baker School Board signed an agreement (12/18/01) with the Justice Department that would remove any objections that the Justice Department would have to the separation of the CBSD from EBRPSS. From early reports little if any objections were expressed from any of the other parties. After a "Status" meeting with Federal Judge Brady on January 19, 2002 no good news emerged. The judge instructed all parties to refrain from any public (or private) discussion of the meeting (only the litigants could discuss the topic among themselves, i.e. board members and attorneys). The judge set another meeting date for February 8, 2001. The trial date is still set for February 19, 2002. It is expected that if the case goes to trial, no matter what the ruling, someone will appeal.
If there is no "Stay" order, the judgement may be carried out as per the Court's order while the case is under appeal.
Well, stay tuned and check back from time to time. When things start to happen, they should happen quickly.
Wednesday, November 07, 2001 -- The City of Baker School Board, under the very able, knowledgeable, and wise leadership of Jerry Epperson, interim superintendent, and legal council of Mark Plaisance made a variety of offers to the East Baton Parish School Board (EBR) in an effort to answer expressed concerns.  All such offers were accepted but did not meet all EBRís perceived problems.  As of November 6, 2001 the Baker Board is about 105 days away from a court date.  Attorney Mark Plaisance says that as he receives depositions he is becoming more optimistic about the likely outcome of the court decision scheduled for February 2002.   The financial expert for the Baker Board, James Richardson of LSU, ran numbers to show that Bakerís separation will have not more than a $30.00 per student negative impact on the EBR system.  He indicated that Baker would be able to spend a bit over $6000 per student (after system administration).  EBR spends a bit over $5000 per student (per year).  In reality the Baker separation will result in a win-win situation for both systems.
EBR is now also working to be declared unitary.  How that may impact Baker is yet to be seen.
Many articles can be found at The Advocate ONLINE.    Search for Baker Schools.
The City of Baker School Board is working to show the court and all interested parties that they have all their ducks in a row.  It has completed and adopted

1) an operations/policy manual,
2) a salary schedule for teachers and administrators (equal to EBRPSS),
3) a discipline policy and handbook,
4) an organizational chart for central office personnel,
5) attendance zones for all schools,
6) a student progression plan, and
7) procedures to recruit teachers.
9-2001: Baker filed all required documents with the court.  The EBRPSB has yet to determine if they will file a formal objection to Bakerís effort to operate independently of EBRPSS.  Judge Parker is no longer on the case after his August resignation of the case.  A relatively new federal judge, Brady, is now the federal judge over the case.  Brady has requested that the boards have another joint meeting.  That should occur around 9/10 or 9/11 2001.  Baker is willing to be flexible in developing a transition plan, esp. for high school.  Some parties like the idea.  Previous comments (as recorded below) stated that the EBRPSB did not.
The City of Baker School Board is continuing to develop an agreement (consent agreement) among the interested parties to begin legal operations for the fall of 2001.  CBSS would not start operation in fact until the fall of 2002.
City of Baker School Board attorney filed an appeal with respect to the City of Baker School System (CBSS) being held to the terms of the EBRPSS 1996 consent decree.  The LA appeals court ruled that CBSS was not to be held to the decree.  However the court could establish other standards for CBSS. (March 2001)
The City of Baker School Board asked the court for a trial date.   A trial date was set for January 2002.  Meaning that if no other agreement can be reached, the earliest that a Baker System could start would be 2003.  It is possible, following this time line, that appeals and foot dragging operation could be easily delayed to 2004

From the spring of 1999 to the summer of 2000 a lot of things have occurred yet no noticeable changes can be seen.  In the fall of 1999 in the 19th District Judicial Court of Louisiana, Honorable Judge Mike McDonald ruled that the City of Baker School Board (CBSB) was the proper trustee for the state owned school facilities with in the City of Baker School District (CBSD).

     The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board (after some delay) filed an appeal to the Louisiana Court of Appeals.
     Meanwhile the citizens of Baker voted to allow the of CBSD to collect taxes for the operation of the school system once it was up and running.
     The appeals court voted 4 to 1 that CBSB should be the trustee of the buildings (and contents).  The dissenter voted no only because he felt that such matters should be determined by legislation not court decision.
     CBSB made an offer to the East Baton Parish School Board (EBRPSB) to educate most all the children presently attending the City of Baker Schools (CBS).  The CBSB felt an interagency agreement could allow for a non-traumatic transition for students now attending CBS.  EBRPSB said they wanted to make a clean break with CBS.  They wanted NO transition, nor interagency agreements.
     CBSB has been moving forward to develop a policy manual, student arrangement, and rules for operation.  The CBSB is now in talks with EBRPSB to resolve issues in which agreement has not been reached.  Expectations are that CBS should start operation separate from EBRPS System in the fall of 2001.
     On a sad note one of the original City of Baker School Board members, Mr. Claton Keller, our first board president passed away in early spring of 2000.  The Board appointed Mr. Greg Allen to fill the position until an election could be held.
     The CBSB expects court permission to operate to be rendered near the end of 2000 or early 2001.

Baker Independent School District's school board elected October 3rd, 1998, held its first meeting on January 19, 1999.   Board members, and brief notes of that meeting here: Meeting 01/19/99.

In the summer of 1998 the Justice Department gave approval for the Baker Independent School District (BISD) School Board election districts. The School Board districts will be the same as the City Council districts. There are five city council districts and there will be five school board districts. In July the Baker City Council called for the BISD School Board election. Candidates for BISD school board qualified in August 1998. Two districts had only one candidate each to qualify. Three districts had two candidates each to qualify. The October 3rd (1998) election will determine who will sit on this first BISD School Board.

East Baton Rouge Parish School Board made a request that Baker officials agree to delay the development of a BISD until after July 1, 1998 or July 1, 2002 depending the outcome of a bond election. If a bond issue is not passed by July 1, 1998 then EBR schools would not challenge the development of a BISD in state court and would agree to determine how much of the school buildings Baker owned and work out something on the rest if needed. If the bond issue did pass then Baker would wait until July 1, 2002 to develop its own school district to give EBR time to sell the Bonds. Other agreements were involved. The Baker School Commission recommenced to the City Council that the offer be accepted. The City council voted to agree to the offer with 3 board members present at the meeting in a vote to 2 to 1.

Baker DID NOT give up ANY rights to develop an Independent School District. It did receive some needed assurances and concessions from EBR. It (Baker) did agree to delay the calling of an election for a school board.


BISD wins opening round : From The Baker Observer Thursday, April 17, 1997

Baker mayor, city attorney cautiously hopeful in suit :From The Baker Observer Thursday, March 20, 1997

Joint Education Commission Minutes and City Council for 07/02/96, Click here: Minutes 07/02/96

Education Commission Minutes for 02/01/96, Click here: Minutes 02/01/96

Education Commission Minutes for 01/02/96, Click here: Minutes 01/02/96

Education Commission Minutes for 12/19/95, Click here: Minutes 12/19/95

Education Commission BYLAWS

Education Commission Members: Click here: Commission Members

This time line will be in reverse chronological order. The most recent events will be on top. The first events will be near the bottom of this page.

October 1996:

The latest word is that the Justice Department will not act on Baker's request for approval of election districts (allowing Baker to elect a school board and move the process forward) until East Baton Rouge Parish School System submits its plan for election districts for EBRPSB. The Justice Department will consider how EBRPS system will configure the election districts without the population of Baker. One official suggested that the Justice Department just wanted to take the path of least effort rather than SERVING the people that PAY their salary. (so what's new?)

The law requires that EBRPSB have a plan for submission by Jan. 15 1997.


July 1996:

The City Council, with the advice and consent of the Educational Commission, defined five (5) election districts for school board members. The school board districts will mirror or have the same description and voters as the city council districts. This plan was sent to and is now waiting action by the United States Justice Department. No more real action can take place until the Justice Department rules on the plan.

The City leaders, representing the BISD, have had meetings with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System officials to discuss the ownership of school buildings and property within the city limits of Baker. The understood position of EBRPS officials is that the buildings and property belong to the citizens of the parish. And that the citizens of the parish deserve to be paid for the buildings and property.

Baker feels that if that is the case then the BISD is entitled to receive rent on the 5% or so of each of the over 100 buildings that the citizens of Baker own, and as residents of a new school districts can no longer use, but paid for.

December 1995:

The city council formed a Educational Commission to oversee the organization and development of the Baker Independent School District.

The Baker Independent School District was created by an act of the Louisiana Legislature and a vote of the voters and citizens of Louisiana (vote was on October 21, 1995).

The time line displayed here is general and not suitable for legal research. If legal data is desired, email me for final sources.

Some Interesting Links. Go ahead, try one.

  1. Louisiana State Department of Education - WWW Server
  2. LA School-to-Work Community Projects
  3. LEERIC Home Page
  4. Wetland Education Program
  5. Info Louisiana: Text Main Page
  6. Technology Education Information
  7. KIDLINK: Global Networking for Youth 10-15
  8. NASA Information Services via World Wide Web
  9. Pitsco Guide to Technology Education
  10. Welcome to Parsons Technology
  11. Technology Education Resources
  12. Baton Rouge Teachers Federal Credit Union
  Now for something different:
  1. The Pun Starts Here !!!
  2. Welcome to The New Red Green Show
  3. The Reagan Information Interchange
  4. The Right Side of the Web

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Page created by: George Gallman
Changes last made on: November 11, 2001 23:37:23