Home > Uncategorized > Heartwarming Story About a District that Took On ExxonMobil… and WON!

Heartwarming Story About a District that Took On ExxonMobil… and WON!

Earlier this week Diane Ravitch posted good news from Jeremy Mohler, the Executive Director of In the Public Interest, a nonpartisan organization that fights privatization of public assets. As Diane Ravitch reported:

Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish School Board has a $30 million budget deficit and teacher shortage. Its school buildings and buses are crumbling. Ninety-seven percent of its students, the majority of which are black or brown, qualify for free or reduced lunch. Teachers and school employees haven’t had an across-the-board pay raise since 2008.

Yet, ExxonMobil has received $700 million in local property tax exemptions from the parish over the last 20 years.

Not anymore.

Earlier this month, the school board narrowly voted against giving ExxonMobil two property tax breaks totaling about $2.9 million over a decade, one for a refinery and one for a chemical plant. Both facilities have already been built, which left some school board members scratching their heads.

I would be a lot more receptive for a new project, something that’s going to bring in new business, new jobs,” one board member said.

Here’s an idea: why not give ExxonMobil half of what it has received annually— roughly 17,500,000 and use the other half to fund the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools. I daresay the school district would bring in some new jobs with that additional money and if they had the money to spend they might generate demand for more small local businesses like grocery stores, hardware stores, and department stores… but probably East Baton Rouge has provided subsidies for Walmart and Lowe’s and are now wondering why there aren’t any decent fukk-time jobs for folks who live in town. Oh well, at least they can buy cheap groceries and building materials.

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