May 2, 2024 - News

New wealthy, white city in Louisiana just became one of state's largest towns

Illustration of a leg kicking out a roll of blueprint paper as if it were a red carpet.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A wealthy, white community in Baton Rouge got the OK from Louisiana's highest court to form its own city separate from the state's capital.

Why it matters: With its incorporation, St. George becomes one of Louisiana's largest cities, with a population similar to Lake Charles.

Catch up quick: The fight for the new city started in 2012 when parents argued in the state legislature for a new school district, according to The Atlantic.

  • That proposal didn't work, nor did a follow-up attempt, and so the idea of forming a new city — a concept that once worked for nearby Central — instead took root.
  • After a successful ballot measure in 2019 by the proposed city's residents, Baton Rouge took the campaign to court.
  • That court battle ended last week with the Louisiana Supreme Court ruling 4-3 in favor of St. George.

Yes, but: It'll still take years before St. George has its own school system, The Advocate reports.

The big picture: Rigid school districts are legally keeping many students of color and low-income families out of elite K-12 public schools, a new study finds. Go deeper.

What's next: Gov. Jeff Landry will appoint temporary St. George city leadership until residents hold their own elections, the AP reports.

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