June 6, 2017 10:46 AM

White
Photo by Robin May

Despite pleas to hold a hearing before the regular session ends, 19th Judicial District Court Judge William Morvant appears prepared to wait until August to address a lawsuit that questions the employment status of Education Superintendent John White.

The lawsuit was filed last week and is seeking a declaratory judgment on whether John White needs to be reconfirmed by the Senate before the end of the regular session on June 8.

There are more than a dozen plaintiffs listed, including former state Rep. Brett Geymann and musician and educator Ganey Arsement. White is the defendant.

Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, is serving as counsel for the effort. He said he filed the suit “as a private Louisiana citizen on behalf of other Louisiana citizens.”

White was hired by the previous Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and was appointed and ratified during the last administration. He is continuing to serve as superintendent on a month-to-month basis.

“I’m going to continue to serve the children of Louisiana until BESE tells me not to,” White said in a statement.

The lawsuit cites a provision in state law that states an “appointee may continue to serve until the end of the second regular session of the Legislature following the beginning of the legislative term at which time the position shall become vacant unless the appointee is reappointed to the position and has been confirmed by the Senate prior to the end of the second legislative session.”

In a recent interview Milkovich said the lawsuit was not a personal attack on White.

“However, we are very concerned and in sharp disagreement with the policies he has helped implement,” Milkovich said. “He pushed for the full scale implementation of Common Core, which is substantively flawed, academically inept and morally bankrupt.”

Arsement added, “BESE has a responsibility to appoint a superintendent which they have failed to do. It is widely agreed that thus far, they are within their rights to not appoint; however, that luxury is limited to the last day of the second regular session following the expiration of the term of appointment.”

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