House Committee supports elected state school officials - KLFY News 10

House Committee supports elected state school officials

Updated:

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A divided House Education Committee backed an effort to make Louisiana's state education superintendent an elected job, rather than an appointed on.

Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Napoleonville, took two different approaches, and both advanced to the full House for debate with votes from the committee Wednesday.

Under one measure (House Bill 125), voters in the November statewide election would decide whether to make the position an elected one, instead of having the superintendent chosen by the 11 members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The constitutional amendment would bypass the desk of Gov. Bobby Jindal, who opposes making the job elected.

The other bill (House Bill 127) would make the change in law, without a vote of the people, but could be vetoed by the governor.

Supporters of an elected superintendent took specific aim at the current superintendent, John White, who was hired by BESE after Jindal hand-picked him for the job. Both teacher unions with whom White and BESE have clashed supported the bills.

Harrison said people should be given the choice to determine who guides the educational direction of the state. He said an elected superintendent would be more accountable to state residents, and he said about a dozen other states hold similar elections.

Opponents said most members of the state education board are elected, so they are accountable to the public for the person they hire as superintendent.

Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, said BESE wouldn't necessarily be able to work well with a superintendent that the board doesn't hire.

"I've seen on a local level what happens when the board and the superintendent don't get along. It creates dysfunction and nothing gets accomplished. It makes no sense to have both an elected superintendent and an elected board," she said.

The committee voted 13-4 for the bill that wouldn't go to the voters and 9-7 for the one that would.

A proposal to have an elected superintendent failed in the Senate last year.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Wanted : Brandi Comeaux

    Wanted : Brandi Comeaux

    A Lafayette woman is sought by police for refusing to provide medical attention for a juvenile who sustained a broken jaw during an altercation after she allegedly provided alcohol to a group of minors.More >>
    A Lafayette woman is sought by police for refusing to provide medical attention for a juvenile who sustained a broken jaw during an altercation after she allegedly provided alcohol to a group of minors.More >>
  • 16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-04-02 19:29:36 GMT
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,More >>
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,More >>
  • Live Doppler 10 Forecast

    Live Doppler 10 Forecast

    Happy Labor Day Acadiana!  Isolated showers and storms will fade away this evening with skies turning mostly clear overnight.  The weather wont be changing much for the short work week.  Each day should see highs in the lower 90s with partly cloudy skies along with an isolated rain chance for the afternoon hours.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

1808 Eraste Landry Rd, PO Box 90665,
Lafayette LA 70509

Telephone: 337.981.4823
Fax: 337.984.8323
Email: tip10@klfy.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Louisiana, Inc. A Media General Company.