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EBR School Board should hold off on approval of two charter applicants

As the Baton Rouge School Board prepares to take up new charter school approvals, we encourage members not to rush into expansions this cycle.

There are many promising applicants, and we are excited about what they could bring to the table for Baton Rouge families. However, we want schools to be set up for success from day one, and there are numerous factors that can impact outcomes despite best intentions and an innovative vision. 

There are two applicants this year, offering important and inspiring opportunities: one with demonstrated success in turning around struggling schools through a model that pays teachers significantly more than the average school, and another that supports development of a pipeline of students excited and ready to take advantage of job opportunities in film production after graduation. While these schools, Third Future and the Louisiana Academy for Film Production, respectively, show promise, our opinion is that now is not the time and the EBR School System is not the appropriate authorizer for these schools.

Third Future operates Prescott Academy in EBR, which it opened in 2023. Official performance data won’t be available until this coming fall, which is the key reason why we believe conversations about expansion are premature. If, in the fall, Third Future’s official data comes back demonstrating student success, we will be excited to support their future expansion. 

The LA Academy for Film Production would like to enroll students from more parishes than EBR to fit its niche as a preparatory school for professions in the film industry. This makes it a better fit for a multi-parish enrollment area, which it can receive only from the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, not the EBR school board. 

At the heart of our mission is ensuring that every student has access to a high-quality education. A solid, thriving foundation should be established before further growth can begin, and attempting to do too much too soon can hinder progress of an otherwise promising school. 

Any decisions regarding opening new schools should also take into account both the ongoing teacher shortage we are facing and the complex enrollment process that is a barrier to families trying to access schools that will best fit their student’s needs. 

We are all eager to create new opportunities for students to thrive, and by making decisions with thoughtful, practical intention, we will accomplish these goals.

A Statement on Recent False and Defamatory Allegations

The East Baton Rouge School board made a decision last week about the future of the students in Baton Rouge and what it will and will not accept for students. Its vote not to renew the Superintendent’s contract was a close one and a tough one. Anyone engaged in the conversation about public schools knew this vote would be fraught with emotion. 

What very few expected was that this conversation about public schools would devolve into vitriol and lies. A small number of elected officials and organized advocates have been making false and shameful allegations that the Baton Rouge Alliance for Students and our CEO, Adonica Pelichet Duggan, have engaged in illegal acts with certain school board members. The Alliance submits that these allegations are absolutely baseless and are defamatory. There is no proof as to these allegations because they are categorically untrue and unfounded. 

Thursday night’s dialogue was heated. That’s to be expected when there are strong feelings at play and a person’s professional status is at stake. Among the values we hold here at the Alliance is the belief that adults must be held accountable for children’s learning. They must also be held accountable for their actions. We certainly hope that these allegations will stop.  However, those who continue to repeat and share the unfounded and defamatory allegations against our organization and CEO will be held accountable. We have a legal right to protect ourselves from false and defamatory statements, and we will exercise it. 

Instead of spreading lies, we encourage the few people perpetuating the false narrative to put their focus on the students in Baton Rouge.  As a community, we can and should be acting to ensure our students gain access to the futures their families want for them. We live in a city where just 37 percent of our public school students read on grade level, and only 24 percent do math on grade level. If you agree with the Alliance that an excellent education is every child’s birthright, then it’s those statistics that should outrage you, not the false statements being spread by this group of individuals.

Baton Rouge Alliance for Students Announces 2023-24 CHANGEMAKERS

The Baton Rouge Alliance for Students today announced the selection of twenty-nine participants for its new class of CHANGEMAKERS, who will become education advocates and leaders in Baton Rouge.
Representing the corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors, the CHANGEMAKERS will collaborate with local education leaders over a ten-month period. The selected individuals will engage in an in-depth exploration of the Baton Rouge education ecosystem, visiting local schools and interacting with national and local education policymakers. Their work will focus on understanding and addressing key issues facing the city’s K-12 education landscape.
The following participants have been selected for the 2023-24 CHANGEMAKERS class:

  • Renee Antoine
  • Dave Baxter
  • Courtney Bell
  • Danielle Brown
  • Chelsea Brumfield 
  • Eboni Buchanan
  • Hunter Chauvin
  • Lizzie Cosse
  • Rory Denicola
  • Adrian Deschamp
  • Brandon Dumas
  • Donald Dunbar, Jr.
  • Crystal Ellis
  • Brad French
  • Amos Gibson
  • Melvin Hollins
  • Justin Hutchinson
  • DeJunne’ Clark Jackson
  • Anna Johnson
  • Nick Miller
  • Patrick Mulhearn 
  • Antoinette Patterson
  • Katie Pryor
  • Luz Randolph
  • Jeremy Robicheaux
  • Cory Stewart
  • Leslie Triche 
  • Amanda Vincent
  • Chloe Wiley

The CHANGEMAKERS program supports the Baton Rouge Alliance for Students’ core values of empowering families, elevating community, and engaging leaders. The CHANGEMAKERS program reflects the organization’s commitment to unlocking each child’s potential and strengthening Baton Rouge’s education system.
For more information about the Baton Rouge Alliance for Students or the CHANGEMAKERS program, please visit

Baton Rouge Alliance for Students Launches Applications for CHANGEMAKERS Program

Baton Rouge Alliance for Students announces the opening of applications for the newest cohort of CHANGEMAKERS.

Three Exceptional Baton Rouge Educators Receive $2,000

Baton Rouge Alliance for Students and ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Celebrate Outstanding Educators

Nominate an Outstanding Baton Rouge Teacher

Baton Rouge Alliance for Students and ExxonMobil will Recognize Outstanding Educators

Baton Rouge Alliance for Students Announces Lisa D. Delpit as Education As A Civil Right Keynote Speaker

Baton Rouge Alliance for Students Publishes Latest Edition of Red Stick Schools Guide

A family resource to make informed school choice decisions

Baton Rouge Alliance for Students Announces Education As A Civil Right

A Community conversation exploring the history and educational landscape of Baton Rouge

A look back at an exciting year!

Looking back at 2022 as we prepare for what’s ahead! Take a look back at our impactful year.