New Louisiana education chief to be selected May 20


FILE – In a Thursday, July 17, 2014 file photo, Superintendent of Education John White speaks after his meeting with Gov. Bobby Jindal about public school testing, in Baton Rouge, La. White, who helped strengthen the role of charter schools, backed a taxpayer-funded tuition voucher program for private schools and oversaw overhauls of the state’s school accountability efforts, announced Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 that he is stepping down as Louisiana’s education superintendent. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The president of Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education said the board plans to pick a new state superintendent of education May 20.

Sandy Holloway, told The Advocate that BESE intends to hold committee meetings on May 19. On May 20, the full board will meet to select a successor to former state Superintendent of Education John White.

There are six finalists: Assistant State Superintendent of Education Jessica Baghian; Cade Brumley, superintendent of the Jefferson Parish school system; Heather Poole, executive vice-chancellor of Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Alexandria; Paul Vallas, former superintendent of Louisiana’s Recovery School District; Joe Siedlecki, associate commissioner for school system support, innovation and charters, Texas Education Agency and Lonnie Luce, executive director, Blended & Online School Solutions.

All six candidates underwent online “virtual’ interviews of roughly 100 minutes each.

They were asked 16 questions by two BESE members: Kira Orange Jones, of New Orleans, who is leading a four-person working group of the board and Ronnie Morris, of Baton Rouge.

Those sessions are available at

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