A key Louisiana House vote on a new public school district for southeast Baton Rouge, which is set for Wednesday afternoon, may be delayed until Thursday, the chief sponsor of the plan said Wednesday morning.
The proposal, Senate Bill 299, is a constitutional amendment, which requires a two-thirds majority or 70 votes.
A companion bill passed the House last week 60-38, which is 10 votes short of what backers need for the ballot measure.
State Sen. Bodi White, R-Central, said he prefers that the House vote on the issue on Wednesday but would delay the tally if lots of members are absent, which is referred to a “light” House.
The issue has generally broken along party lines.
Republicans control the House 58 to 45 with two without party affiliation.
That means backers need to get the support of some Democrats for the amendment to win House approval.
The amendment has already passed the Senate.
The companion measure, Senate Bill 563, spells out details of the plan in state law.
It won final legislative approval on Tuesday.
However, the entire package has to win legislative approval for the amendment to be submitted to voters statewide on Nov. 6.
It requires majority support from voters statewide, as well as East Baton Rouge Parish, to take effect.
The plan would move 10 schools from the East Baton Rouge Parish school system to a new zone called the Southeast Baton Rouge Community School District.
Supporters contend the breakaway district is needed because the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, which is rated “D” by the state, has failed students and parents for years.
Opponents say the new district would leave the system with financial and academic problems.
The session ends on Monday at 6 p.m.