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New town keep poor out: East Baton Rouge Parish creating new town for rich?

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Imagine a new town that would keep the poor out -- out of their neighborhoods and out of their school system. On Feb. 6, MSN reported that middle and upper class residents in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana want to take a step that would segregate them from the "poor" residents that live in a neighboring community. According to the report, 4 out of 10 residents in said community are living in poverty.

"Saying they want local control, they’re trying to leave the 42,000-pupil public-education system. They envision their own district funded by property taxes from their higher-value homes, which would take money from schools in poorer parts of state-capital Baton Rouge, home of Louisiana State University. They even want their own city," MSN reports.

While a new town would keep the poor out and flourish under its own will (by way of taxpayer money and property values etc.), the "poor" people or lower class residents that would be forced to live with one another and not integrate into the system would lose the little that they have left.

"It's going to devastate us. They're not only going to take the richer white kids out of the district, they are going to take their money out of it," said Tania Nyman, 45, who has two elementary-age children in the Baton Rouge system (via MSN). It's a hard pill to swallow but this isn't the first time that wealthy people have come up with such an idea. However, some people worry that kids attending a low-income school will not thrive and the community itself will be like an ugly-stepchild, if you will.

Creating a new town meant to keep the poor out may be of value to rich families but it could destroy other areas and could really hurt the chances that poor children have to make it in this country. What are your thoughts on the matter?

© Effie Orfanides 2014

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