Federal grant could lead to expansion of magnet programs
The East Baton Rouge Parish School System hopes to win a grant that could allow it to expand its popular magnet programs. The system has hired grant writer David Lerch to pursue funds from the federal government's Magnet Schools Assistance program. EBR's interim superintendent, Carlos Sam, who also directs magnet programs, says the grant could be worth $12 million to $15 million per year over three to five years. The grant application will be written over the next year, and Sam expects to appeal to the community to find out what specific programs people would like to see. "The community has said to us in various venues, 'If you had more programs like these, we would come,' " Sam says. "If they're going to come to a setting like Baton Rouge High, why not create another Baton Rouge High? And if we have the requests from folks who don't traditionally participate in the public school system, and they want to come to those kinds of settings, and we have funding to offer those kinds of settings, then I think that's the right thing to do." Demand for EBR's magnet programs typically outstrips supply; for example, there are 192 students in the waiting pool for Baton Rouge Magnet High School. —David Jacobs
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