Louisiana governor announces state education board members


FILE – In this Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 file photo, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards arrives to address supporters at his election night watch party in Baton Rouge, La. A re-election victory by Edwards has assured Democrats of an all-important place at the table when political maps are redrawn after the 2020 census for future elections to Congress and the state legislature. Edwards’ narrow triumph on Saturday marked the third significant win in a Southern state in two weeks for Democrats, following their takeover of the Virginia General Assembly and the defeat of Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards named his three appointees to Louisiana’s top public school board for the upcoming term, keeping two of his picks from his first four years in office and replacing the third.

The Democratic governor, whose second term begins Jan. 13, announced Thursday that Doris Voitier, superintendent of St. Bernard Parish public schools, and Thomas Roque, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Alexandria, will continue as members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

For his third appointment, Edwards is replacing Lurie Thomason Jr., a Grambling State University criminal justice professor, with Belinda Davis, a Louisiana State University public policy professor who ran unsuccessfully for the state House on the fall ballot. Thomason resigned from the education board last month, citing health concerns and an interest in spending more time with his family, according to Edwards spokeswoman Christina Stephens. Davis’ appointment begins with the new term on Jan. 13.

The 11-member Board of Elementary and Secondary Education sets policies impacting more than 700,000 public school students around the state, chooses Louisiana’s education superintendent and writes the multibillion-dollar financing formula for public education.

Edwards’ three appointees will join the eight board members elected this fall at their first meeting of the new term later this month.

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